Final report on Ryan's Commander finds cause of capsize
The final report on the capsizing of the Ryan's Commander off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador in September 2004, reveals that the vessel left port lightly loaded, with its anti-roll tank partially full, and with extra fishing gear stowed high above the water - making it vulnerable to the prevailing wind and seas.
"We found that the weather, the operation and the design of the vessel all contributed to the capsizing of the Ryan's Commander," says Wendy Tadros, Chair of the Transportation Safety Board, (TSB).
The report applauds a recently signed Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) and Transport Canada (TC) which addresses fishing vessel safety.
The report recommends that TC require all new inspected small fishing vessels of closed construction to submit stability data for approval. Existing inspected small fishing vessels currently without any approved stability data will be subjected to a roll period test.
There are approximately 4500 small fishing vessels, between 15 and 150 gross tons or less than 24.4 metres in length, subject to inspection by TC.
Inquiry into helicopter crash completed
A military Board of Inquiry is investigating the 13 July crash of Cormorant helicopter CH149914, that killed three Canadian Forces Search and Rescue (SAR) crewmembers and injured four others during a training exercise off Canso, Nova Scotia.
Colonel Grant Smith is leading a team of four investigators and three specialists who to collect and analyze the evidence from the accident to determine its cause.
The Board of Investigation will first submit a report to Major-General Bouchard, Commander of 1 Canadian Air Division, for initial review and then to the Chief of the Defence Staff. The findings and recommendations will then be made public, subject to the limitations by the Privacy Act and the Access to Information Act.
iPod leads searchers to victim
Oregon — the glow of an iPod screen led searchers to a mushroom picker lost in the underbrush during an all-night search. The lost 25-year-old man used his cell phone to describe the landscape to rescuers as best he could in the darkness. He was finally located at 1:00 a.m. when a member of the search and rescue team spotted the light coming from his iPod.
Third time’s the charm for lost hiker
An unprepared hiker was rescued for the third time by the Coquitlam Search and Rescue Team after spending a cold night in the woods on October 23. Found in the mountains near Buntzen Lake B.C., the hiker was last rescued by the team one month earlier in Golden Ears Park. In both cases, the 50-year-old man was traveling alone and without proper supplies. Ten years ago, he was rescued from the park after breaking some bones in a fall. About 30 people took part in the search which lasted about four hours. The man was found dressed in summer clothing and with no survival gear. After being treated for minor hypothermia, the man was returned to his angry wife.
Environment Canada launches 511 weather service
Environment Canada has earned approval from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to assign the 511 telephone number for weather and traveler information services.
This decision paves the way for a cross-Canada, 24-hour free telephone service providing Canadians with vital weather and traveler information through one easy-to-remember, three-digit telephone number.
The goal of Canada's 511 service is to provide up-to-date information about weather and travel conditions to Canadians so that they can make informed choices for their travel plans. A similar service already exists in several states in the U.S.
Once Canada's 511 service is in place, Environment Canada, one of the partners in the Canada 511 Consortium, will provide current weather information, including warnings about major weather events. Each province could contribute travel information that may include advisories about congestion, road and lane closures due to construction, winter maintenance and road conditions.
The Canada 511 Consortium is a partnership of government and private agencies that includes Environment Canada, Transport Canada, provincial and territorial governments, the Canadian Urban Transit Association and the Intelligent Transportation Systems Society of Canada (ITS Canada). The consortium's activities are coordinated by ITS Canada. The 511 service is expected to be up and running in 2007.
Cold water team responds to sinking vessel
The Harbour Grace Volunteer Fire Brigade's Cold Water Rescue Team was called to respond to a vessel sinking at a wharf owned by Harbour Grace Cold Storage Ltd. The MV Hamilton Banker was sinking at the wharf when Brigade Chief Sonia Williams was meeting with local fishermen to buy lobster for a brigade social.
The cold water rescue team responded swiftly with six officers and a crew of 14. Contact with the ship's owner verified that the vessel was indeed empty. The vessel was later raised and docked in Harbour Grace.
Decline in maritime boating incidents reported
With the busiest part of the 2006 boating season behind us, Transport Canada's Office of Boating Safety reports two boating fatalities on Maritime waterways so far this year. While one boating incident that results in a death is one too many, the notable decrease in the number of fatalities due to recreational boating during the 2006 boating season is encouraging to boating educators and enforcement agencies.
Over the past seven years, there has been a concentrated effort to increase safety awareness on the water. In 2006, Transport Canada's Office of Boating Safety partnered with the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Halifax Regional Police, Cape Breton Regional Police, Fredericton Police Force and Miramichi Police Force in a Joint Enforcement Patrol (JEP) Program designed to educate the boating community on their legal responsibilities when taking to the water.
The campaign resulted in the patrol of over 50 waterways, including lakes, rivers and coastal areas.
If you are unsure of what equipment you require on board your vessel, visit the Office of Boating Safety website at www.boatingsafety.gc.ca.
SAR payload satellite launched
Europe's ultra-advanced weather satellite, MetOp-A went into orbit on October 19th, starting its climate-monitoring mission. Two hours after a Soyuz-Fregat rocket carrying the 4.1-tonne satellite MetOp-A lifted off from the Russian space base at Baikonur, Kazakhstan, the European Space Agency (ESA) announced around that the satellite had been put into its 850-kilometer (531-mile) orbit around the poles. MetOp-A promptly deployed the built-in solar panel by which it will store energy to run itself as it circles the globe.
Five previous attempts to launch the six-metre-long new-generation satellite since July were thwarted by technical hitches and poor weather.
MetOp-A has 13 instruments to record temperature, humidity, wind speed and ozone cover across the globe; monitor the environment in space and listen out for signals from ships and aircraft in distress.
"This SAR payload is truly international", explained Jim King, of the Communications Research Centre. "It was designed and built in Canada, at former EMS Ste Anne, provided to the US under our Sarsat partnership arrangement, transferred to Europe, integrated onto the European satellite (tested at various places in Europe) and launched by Russia from Baikanour, Kazakhstan. It will be tested in orbit by the Sarsat test centre in Ottawa and used by much of the world when the SAR payload becomes operational."
SARVAC Back Online
Having reclaimed its domain name, the Search and Rescue Volunteer Association of Canada (SARVAC) has a new website at www.sarvac.ca The new site has resources for search team members and excellent downloads such as trip plans and survival cards.