The 19 Explosive Disposal Flight’s Rigid-hulled inflatable boat recover Search and Rescue technicians after their water jump during a 442 Squadron Search and Rescue Exercise in Tofino on Feb. 27, 2018. Photo by Cpl. Joey Beaudin

Real-life SAR exercises on the west coast for Canadian Armed Forces

It was all for practice, but members of 19 Wing Comox’s 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron invaded the west coast of Vancouver Island last week as part of the squadron’s annual training.

From Feb. 26 to March 1, members participated in SAREX 18 – the squadron’s annual exercise, which varies the location annually, but aims to practise in areas which are frequented by the squadron for actual search and rescue operations.

The exercise involved approximately 70 personnel from the squadron, two CC-115 Buffalo fixed-wing aircraft, two CH-149 Cormorant helicopters and one CC-130H Hercules.

“One of the benefits of conducting SAREX is that it provides us the opportunity to train and build working relationships with our SAR partners, those professionals and volunteers in communities across B.C. that are trained and always ready to respond when people find themselves in trouble,” explained Capt. Adam Kusch, exercise director.

442 Squadron is responsible for search and rescue for all of B.C. and the Yukon, and about 600 kilometres offshore in the Pacific Ocean.

435 Transport and Rescue Squadron – also a 19 Wing unit but based in Winnipeg – also participated with the addition of a CC-130H Hercules and crew.

Numerous training scenarios during the day and night were based on actual events, including a vessel in distress taking on water that required a pump, dropped by air from a Buffalo (which becomes a joint response involving the Canadian Coast Guard), an injured windsurfer stranded on a remote beach, and passengers and crew of an overturned vessel in the water.

In addition to military SAR personnel, the exercise included partners from the RCMP, coast guard, Parks Canada, BC Parks, RCM SAR, Civil Air Search and Rescue Association, and the Tofino Airport Authority.


Search and Rescue Technicians carry a stretcher to the CH149 Cormorant during a 442 Squadron Search and Rescue Exercise in Tofino on Feb. 28, 2018. Photo by Cpl. Joey Beaudin

Just Posted

Comox Valley Ground Search & Rescue kept busy across the province

CVGSAR had a busy week, sending rescuers as far away as Invermere

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

Glacier View residents take a ride on the river

Ground Search and Rescue guides floaters on Puntledge

Brewing up some community engagement

Insp. Tim Walton says goodbye to the Comox Valley

Ex-BCTF president ‘undeterred’ after early release from pipeline protest jail term

Susan Lambert and Order of Canada recipient Jean Swanson released early

Fast food chains look to capitalize on vegetarian, vegan trend with new items

Seven per cent of Canadians consider themselves vegetarians and 2.3 per cent identify as vegans

B.C. swimmer halts journey across Strait of Juan de Fuca after hypothermia sets in

Victoria MS athlete Susan Simmons swam for eight-and-a-half hours in 9 C choppy waters

‘Hard on water:’ Smoke not the only long-range effect of wildfires

The project began more than 10 years ago after southern Alberta’s 2003 Lost Creek fire

B.C. VIEWS: Genuine aboriginal rights can be misused and discredited

Camp Cloud one of long line of protests falsely asserting title

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to march in Montreal’s Pride parade

Trudeau will end the day in his home riding of Papineau

Vancouver Whitecaps give up late goal in 2-2 draw with New York Red Bulls

Four of Vancouver’s next five games are at home

RCMP looking for missing Duncan teen

Dallas Macleod, 18, was last seen on Aug. 10

Most Read