Water Rescue at Jackson Bay

Campbell River, British Columbia - 1 March, 2008


April 2007 - A Buffalo aircraft from 442 Squadron, 19 Wing Comox, was dispatched to Jackson Bay, 43 miles northwest of Campbell River in British Columbia - a float plane carrying one pilot and six male passengers had overturned on take-off and all of them were stranded in the cold water, clinging to the aircraft's pontoons.

Fortunately, the rescue response was both swift and highly effective. Upon arriving at the scene, the Buffalo quickly spotted the casualties and accurately dropped the Aerial Rescue Kit (ARK) to the stranded people below.

The Buffalo crew, consisting of Captain John Edwards (Aircraft Commander), Capt Scott Goebel (Pilot), Major Todd Sharp (Navigator), Warrant Officer Tom FurIotte (Flight Engineer), and SAR Techs Sgt Rob Beauchamp and Master-Corporal Stephane Richard ensured the success of the mission. Other Canadian Forces personnel on the aircraft consisted of Training Navigator Capt Ray Jacobson, Training Flight Engineer MCpl Rich Rousseau, and Sergeant Mike Hambly (a Training Establishment evaluator).

Due to the diligent efforts of the Buffalo crew and a life saving device known as the ARK (Aerial Rescue Kit), the stranded pilot and his passengers were able to climb safely out of the water and into an inflated life raft to await subsequent rescue. Shortly after, a Cormorant helicopter arrived from Comox and dropped a team of SAR Techs comprising of: WO Jeff Warden, Sgt Jean Tremblay, and MCpl Chris Macintyre.

Wet and shivering, the grateful rescuees were impressed with both the quick response time and the professionalism of the rescuers. The SAR Techs assessed the casualties and prepared the subjects for extraction while a Coast Guard Fast Response boat made its way to the scene to assist in the rescue effort.

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