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  • George C. Hill
    May 03, 2013 - 18:15

    IF,..... Canada were to utilize the Canadian Coast Guard, properly funded and equipped, as a mirror of the US Coast Guard, and its procedures, manuals, Missions and Training... Then and only then would Canadians have a 1st rate SAR organization that they could be proud of Nationwide. Using the Canadian Coast Guard as a fishery patrol, Ice Breaker and political VIP mover is very wrong. As the former Area Manager of Helicopter Survival and Rescue Services Ltd. in St. John's from 1984-1989 it was our Honor to provide SAR services to the Offshore. We also volunteered to fly any and all SAR missions that we could be assigned. All of our personnel were highly trained, experienced, and available to fly on a 30 minute notice 24/7 365 ! The very qualified, highly trained and very competent members of the Canadian Armed Forces providing SAR in Newfoundland do an outstanding job. It should Not be their single responsibility to provide this service. They are under funded, under equipped and under staffed ! It is long past time for Canada to step up and do it right. Fund and train the Canadian Coast Guard to do the job. A Fisherman, a Snowmobiler, A Bush Pilot and a Hiker just don't have the capability to do the proper response for SAR. Respectfully submitted, George C. Hill HSRS Ltd., Retired US Navy, Retired

  • Stephen Redgrave
    May 03, 2013 - 08:55

    Search and rescue techniques have come a long way in 25 years past. I did my flight training in Alberta in 1983 when search and rescue was integrated into our classroom agenda. It was considered every pilots responsibility to help find anyone on the ground in need of assistance. SAR was a community backed program comprised of many skilled volunteers. There was one sad and unfortunate series of airplane crashes in January 1984 where 13 people lost their lives in search of 1 missing Cessna Skyhawk with 2 on board. A Canadian Air Force Twin Otter crashed into mount Lougheed with 2 crew and 6 other pilots acting as spotters and in the following days 2 other small aircraft also crashed in the unforgiving white out terrain. 13 deaths were recorded and still the lost aircraft was not yet found. I was scheduled to be a spotter on that Twin Otter on January 14 the day of the crash, however, my son was born on Jan 13th and I was attending my wife at the hospital and had to back out. The death count would have been 14 had he not been born 30 days premature. Search and rescue is a community event, but needs to be well organized, well funded and prepared for the worst. There is no shortage of skilled volunteers to back up government efforts as long as it's done with experienced leaders. and good equipment. The air force pilot who lost his horizon in the snow covered mountains was not experienced at mountain flying and was on his first SAR mission. The Atlantic provinces have an even harder job dealing with rescue at sea. Still , you will find no shortage of volunteers familiar with the sea in Newfoundland and Labrador. Search and rescue can be a well oiled machine if each community has the means and the funding to act fast and efficiently, utilizing every resource available including the untapped skills within each community.

  • Duffy
    May 03, 2013 - 06:57

    There has been no accountability for the Slugs that made the death warrant decision that day which killed Burton Winters - the same as if they pulled the trigger. But the Big Shots cover for each other and only an Inquiry will find partial truth. Yet we go on with our lives forgetting and not demanding answers. We get the government we deserve!