Copter from CFB Comox rescues injured boater

A 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron Buffalo airplane and Cormorant helicopter assisted an injured boater Feb. 27 in Jervis Inlet.

His 16-foot aluminum craft ran aground near a rocky channel wall of there huge inlet near Power River. The boater initially flagged down passing boaters who assisted in getting him ashore and keeping him warm.

The Buffalo airplane crew successfully homed in on the boater’s Personal Locator Beacon after receiving a call from Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Victoria.

A Cormorant helicopter arrived on scene at 7 p.m. and the crew lowered their Search and Rescue Technicians (SAR Techs) 80 feet into the rugged area to evacuate the man. The rescue efforts were supported by members of a Vessel of Opportunity who kept the man warm by making a fire on shore. The Canadian Coast Guard Vessel Cape Caution also responded and illuminated the area with search lights.

“The rock wall prevented a landing, but we were able to hoist our two SAR Techs 80 feet onto the shore line, where they then proceeded on foot to the injured boater,” said Capt. James Loose, Cormorant helicopter pilot with 442 Squadron.

“This boater was very well-prepared. He had a Personal Locator Beacon and a first aid kit.  He was able to get himself out of the cabin and call for help.”

Once the patient was stabilized and hoisted onboard, the helicopter crew flew him to Powell River where he was transferred in stable condition to BC Ambulance service.

442 Squadron Cormorant and Buffalo aircraft are JRCC Victoria’s primary means for aviation SAR responses in the Victoria Search and Rescue Region (SRR). The Victoria SRR includes 920,000 square kilometres of mainly mountainous terrain in British Columbia and the Yukon, extending approximately 600 nautical miles offshore into the Pacific Ocean.

— 19 Wing Comox


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