Pair Rescued from Cliff
19 WING COMOX – A 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron CH-149 Cormorant helicopter rescued two Victoria climbers from Mt. Arrowsmith early on October 27, 2008. The pair used their cell phone to call for help which led to the Cormorant being tasked to the mission by the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Victoria.
“It appeared like the two climbers got lost on their descent,” said Sgt. Wade Simpson, the search and rescue (SAR) team leader from the mission. “They were well prepared for the hike, but reached a point where they didn’t want to continue in the darkness. They tied themselves in on the rock wall and called for assistance.”
Port Alberni Ground SAR was on scene when the Cormorant arrived, initiating a rescue from the base of the mountain. The pair was located 1750 meters up the mountain on the side of a cliff, making ground rescue challenging in the dark. The Cormorant easily found the two climbers, but it was the crew’s continuous training at climbing cliffs such as the Devil’s Ladder at the Comox Lake that prepared them for the challenging hoist.
“Practicing at the Devil’s Ladder came into play big time on this one,” said Sgt. Simpson. “The pair was located on a small ledge of a sheer cliff wall, and the techniques required for the crew to perform hoists in this situation were well practiced aiding in the crew’s comfort level. We were really happy to be able to do that mission so that the Ground SAR didn’t have to climb in the night. Mountain rescue climbs at night are that much more difficult, all you have is your headlamp on, it’s harder to find holds and you can’t find route selection.”
After the climbers were extracted from the cliff wall, they were flown to a pad near Port Alberni where they were transferred to Port Alberni Ground SAR.
Cormorant Crew: Capt. Mulholland, Aircraft Commander; Maj. von Kruse, First Officer; Cpl. Legendre, Flight Engineer; Sgt. Simpson and Master Cpl. Seguin, SAR Techs.
Six People Rescued by 413 Squadron near Moncton, N.B.
14 WING GREENWOOD – Six people, two children and four adults were rescued three nautical miles north of Moncton, New Brunswick by members of 413 Transport and Rescue Squadron (413 Sqn) early on November 2, 2008. The Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Halifax (JRCC) received a call from the Shediac RCMP around 9:50 p.m. Saturday night requesting assistance in locating the six individuals whose truck had become stuck in an off road trail. The JRCC then called 413 Sqn to dispatch a CH-149 Cormorant helicopter to search for them.
The Cormorant located the stranded people around 1:00 a.m. and commenced to hoist them into the helicopter where they were given initial medical treatment for hyperthermia by Search and Rescue Technicians. “Everyone has found themselves in a difficult predicament every now and then and thankfully we managed to located and rescue them before this situation became worse,” stated Cormorant pilot Captain Jean Leroux. The 413 Sqn then transported the individuals to the Moncton airport where ambulances were waiting to transport them to the local hospital.
Local kids treated to a show as military search and rescue technicians parachute from helicopter to spruce up annual collection of boxes of presents for children
More than 230 boxes of Christmas presents, destined for children in third world countries, were collected on November 19, 2008, as part of an awareness campaign for Operation Christmas Child.
Search and rescue technicians hurled themselves out of a yellow military helicopter above the EMS headquarters on Armour Road, drifting down under parachutes above a crowd of a few hundred cheering children.
Operation Christmas Child is an international campaign run by Samaritan’s Purse to provide children in third world countries with Christmas presents. The shoeboxsized presents are filled with stuffed animals, pencils, crayons, tooth brushes, paper, soap, and many other items people buy.
Last year, those in Peterborough and the surrounding area collected about 6,000 boxes, contributing to the 600,000 across Canada and 7.6 million collected world-wide. “It’s such an easy thing to do,” says Samantha Cameron, a co-organizer of the event. She says all people need to do is go to a dollar store and spend $10 on stuff to fill the boxes with.
As for the mini-airshow, Ms Cameron says it wasn’t too hard to get the military on board. She filled out some paperwork online and they took her up on the offer. It was the search and rescue crew that pushed to add parachuting to the show. “We had quite a huge hubbub here in Norwood,” says Ilona Bennett, the organizer of Operation Christmas Child in Norwood. The helicopter first flew to Norwood to put on a show, picked up some boxes, then flew to Peterborough. “We have never had anything like this,” she says. “It’s all about the shoeboxes.” Last year she collected about 700 boxes and is hoping to get 1,000 this year.
The idea for helicopters came from the methods used to deliver the boxes to the children. Though the presents leave Canada on an airplane, delivery is sometimes handled by helicopters and camels because there are no roads to where the children live.
Randy Mellow, manager of operations at the EMS Headquarters, says they have been involved with Operation Christmas Child for four years, with this year being their most involved and will be hard to top. He says people in Canada are very fortunate to be able to give away the boxes to those in need. “The boxes end up making a difference,” he says.
One part he enjoyed is getting to know the search and rescue crews, whom they usually meet briefly in situations where someone is missing. “We never get an opportunity to do something like this with them,” he says.
It only took the CH-146 Griffon helicopter about 10 minutes to fly to Peterborough from Norwood, and about 15 to 20 minutes to fly in from Canadian Forces Base Trenton. “Once the doors open, it gets a little chilly,” says Major Jen Kennedy, the pilot, referring to the Search and Rescue technicians jumping from the helicopter. The boxes all go to a collection centre in Kitchener before they get distributed around the world.
Three rescued from barge by Greenwood Search & Rescue
HALIFAX- Three men were rescued from a barge 25 nautical miles north west of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, on November 19, 2008, by a CH-149 Cormorant helicopter from 413 (Transport and Rescue) Squadron based at 14 Wing Greenwood, N.S. The Cormorant was returning to Greenwood from training in Summerside, P.E.I. when the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Halifax tasked the helicopter at 2:15 p.m. to assist the barge, “Shovel Master,” which was in trouble off the coast of Nova Scotia.
there were high winds and rough seas as well as icing conditions (see attached photo). A CC-130 Hercules transport aircraft from 413 Sqn also provided on-scene assistance for the Cormorant during the rescue which lasted about one hour. The three men on the Shovel Master were each hoisted from the sea in survival suits with the assistance of Canadian Forces Search and Rescue Technicians (SAR Techs). The barge was not safely accessible due to obstacles on the vessel which made it too hazardous for a hoisting rescue.
The men were reported in good condition with no injuries and were flown to the Yarmouth airport where an ambulance was standing by to check over the crew. Ten minutes following the rescue, the barge capsized and the towing vessel released its line without incident.
ELT PERFORMANCE STUDY: 2003-2008
The National Search and Rescue Secretariat undertook a study for the period of January 2003 to December 2007, in order to develop a clear understanding of the current performance of emergency locator transmitters (ELTs) in Canada. Defence Research and Development Canada and CAE Professional Services have also commissioned a research study in the summer of 2008, on the results of ELT false alarms for the period of January 2006 to October 2008. That study is expected to be finalized in early 2009.
While the research is not yet complete, preliminaryresults are providing some good insight. The success rate based on 121.5 MHz ELTs (including both TSO C91 and C91a compliant ELT installations) was demonstrated to be 74% with an accuracy of 6.07% and a 95% confidence rate. The ELT false alarm rate was shown to remain between 88 and 94% as expected, with great success demonstrated in resolving 406-related events without having to commit valuable flying resources.
Data continues to be gathered on the performance of the expanding population of 406 MHz ELTs in Canada. The outlook is very promising with the recent study on the effectiveness of 121.5 MHz ELTs demonstrating performance in line with the 1990 NASA study, which projected that second generation 121.5 MHz ELTs would provide a success rate of 73%, and the new 406 MHz ELTs would provide a success rate of 83%. Better understanding of ELT performance is anticipated in the near future as the Transportation Safety Board has undertaken an in-depth study on that subject.