442 Transport and Rescue Squadron from 19 Wing Comox assisted in helping an injured hiker down from the top of Mt. Benson near Nanaimo Jan. 23.
The squadron supported Nanaimo Search and Rescue crews with a CC-115 Buffalo and CH-149 Cormorant with illumination for the extraction.
Due to cloud coverage of the extraction site, the Cormorant was unable to conduct hoisting operations. The Buffalo, circling overhead at 7,000 ft, was further tasked to remain airborne providing the ground search and rescue with valuable light on their precarious hike down Mt. Benson.
The crew on the Buffalo also hand-launched 15 flares.
Guided by Air Combat Systems Officer Capt. Paige Campbell, the Buffalo managed to provide near-constant illumination for more than one hour to the rescue effort below. Flying the Buffalo to exacting standards, First Officer Capt. Doug Tobin kept a stable platform throughout the evening.
“It was a total team effort on board the Buff with the GSAR crew below. Our team synergies allowed us to work smoothly which enabled this mission to be a great success,” said Major Ryan Port, Aircraft Commander of RSCU 462.
Nanaimo Search and Rescue carried out the extraction and the man who sustained a serious upper-body injury was able to be brought far enough down the mountain to reach a waiting ambulance.