Thursday, May 2, 2013

Search and Rescue exercise wraps up on the North Coast

It was a busy couple of days on the waters off of Prince Rupert, as the North Pacific played host to a number of military and coast guard vessels and aircraft, all gathered in the region to put their search and rescue skills to the test.

Planes and helicopters were occasionally spotted at take off or landing as they used the Prince Rupert Airport and Seal Cove Coast Guard Base as staging grounds for the three day exercise.

Using the Royal Canadian vessel, HMCS Edmonton as a ship in distress, helicopter units, sailors and coastguard personnel worked out any number of scenarios of response designed to test readiness.

In total there were 50 members of the Royal Canadian Navy and Royal Canadian Air Force, 25 Canadian Coast Guard members, 30 US Coast Guard members and 30 airmen from the US Air Force
involved in the exercise.

The timing of the exercise comes as the Federal Government is under a bit of fire in British Columbia over recent cutbacks to Coast Guard assets in the Vancouver region and as the Auditor General report outlines a number of issues related to the ability to deliver Search and Rescue services across the country.

The North Coast exercise provided the multi-jurisdictional services to work together, offering an opportunity to better co-ordinate their responses should a real time marine emergency take place on the North Coast.

The Department of National Defence provided this review of the three day event. A number of photos of the exercise (like those on this page) can also be found on the Canadian Forces Combat Camera website, type in Prince Rupert into the search engine for the photos from April 29-May 1

You can review some of the coverage of the exercise from a variety of media sources.

CFTK-- SAR Training off the North Coast This Week
CFTK-- Prince Rupert Search and Rescue Training (video)
CFNR-- CanAm Search and Rescue Exercise in Prince Rupert
Northern View-- Canadian, U. S. Forces gather for search and rescue exercise in Prince Rupert
Ottawa Citizen-- RCN, RCAF and US Forces train together For Search and Rescue on West Coast
Canadian Skies-- Canadian and American search and rescue crews train near Prince Rupert


The Federal Government announces new money for Search and Rescue across Canada

CBC-- New Cash, rules for search and rescue announced
Globe and Mail-- Ottawa beefing up search-and-rescue satellite systems after warning

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