A canoeist who was reported missing on the British Columbia coast was found by a CC-115 Buffalo aircraft from 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron at 19 Wing Comox, B.C., on June 16, 2010.
The Buffalo crew was returning from a previous tasking in the Victoria area when they received report from the Joint Rescue and Coordination Centre (JRCC) Victoria that a canoeist had reported his companion missing. Both men found themselves in the water while canoeing in the bay but one of them managed to swim to shore and call for help.
“After initiating the second leg of our search pattern, I saw the man,” said Master Corporal Jeremy Kerr, search and rescue technician (SAR tech). “We came around at 300 feet [91 metres] to confirm what I had seen - there he was waiving and splashing water. He was sitting on his semi-submerged canoe.”
Two smoke canisters were drop near his location, enabling a private vessel, the Quicksilver Girl, to get to him quickly.
“We could see a few boats near him,” said MCpl Kerr. “Maybe less than two hundred metres, but after spending a few hours in six-degree [Celsius] water, his energy level must have significantly reduced his ability to signal them. Unless they would have been actively searching, it’s possible they would have never seen him.
The man was taken by the private vessel to the Cowichan Bay marina where an ambulance transported him to hospital.