A 19 Wing search and rescue technician was honoured with a bravery citation from Gov.- Gen. David Johnston in a Thursday ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa.
Sgt. Stéphane Clavette, along with Sgt. Michael Cox of Greenwood, N.S., rescued a man who had suffered a heart attack aboard a fishing boat off the coast of Halifax in February 2011. Hampered by darkness and harsh weather conditions, the SAR Techs were lowered from a helicopter onto the vessel, which was being tossed about in the rough seas.
Despite an icy and unstable deck, the victim was secured in a rescue basket and hoisted to the aircraft. A cable was then lowered to the deck to retrieve the rescuers.
Clavette attached himself to the cable, but the boat was rocked by a large wave. He was able to unhook just before the cable was ripped from his hand. Another cable was lowered and, with great difficulty, the rescuers were lifted one at a time to safety.
The men were among 50 recipients of Decorations for Bravery.
Created in 1972, the decorations recognize people who risked their lives to try to save or protect the lives of others.