19 WING COMOX - A Cormorant helicopter and a Buffalo Aircraft from 442 Squadron were called in by the Province to support two separate missions. The Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Victoria tasked the Air Force assets in support of ongoing efforts to save the lives of a woman in Prince Rupert and a man in Port Alberni.
The first mission began last night, February 14, when Emergency Health Services requested assistance in transporting an ill woman to Victoria for further medical treatment. EHS did not have the assets to transport the woman who was over their weight limit so the Buffalo was launched. Unfortunately, the woman's condition worsened and the airlift could not take place until she stabilized. The crew ran out of their safe flying hours and a second Buffalo was launched. When the patient stabilized, she was flown to Victoria. Search and Rescue Technicians assisted EHS personnel in moving, securing and monitory the patient throughout the flight. She was then transferred to an ambulance at Victoria International Airport.
In the second mission a Cormorant was launched to hoist a 60-year-old male from Rogers Creek. The man had been missing since 6 p.m. the night before and was found by Ground Search and Rescue Volunteers; however, they were unable to get the man who required health care out of the tight, rough terrain.
"GSAR did an excellent job under difficult conditions," said Capt. Sean Morris, Cormorant Aircraft Commander. "They set up a tarp so that we could locate them and then called us in by radio. There involvement was key.
"We flew in clear weather to the location, but as soon as we got on scene the fog rolled in. We flew just under the fog along the top of the trees to the location and then hoisted the man to the Cormorant. Unfortunately we couldn't fly him directly to the hospital due to fog, so we landed at a soccer field and transferred him to B.C. Ambulance."
442 Squadron crews have returned to 19 Wing Comox. The current condition of the patients is unknown.
Note to editors: There are no DND images for the mission.
19 Wing Public Affairs Office: Capt Cheryl Condly (250) 339-8201.