14 Wing SAR crew responds to late night maritime med-evac call off Cape Breton

Nancy Kelly nkelly@kingscountynews.ca
Published on June 17, 2014

A Cormorant Search and Rescue crew from 14 Wing Greenwood took part in the Dec. 8 rescue of two men who survived a night in below-zero temperatures after their plane crashed in the Hudson Strait, off the southern tip of Baffin Island. File

In the early morning hours of June 17, members of a search and rescue team from 14 Wing Greenwood plucked a crew member off the deck of a cargo ship located 100 nautical miles east of Port Hawksbury during a medical evacuation call.

Major Martell Thompson, spokesperson for the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Halifax, confirmed a Cormorant helicopter and Hercules aircraft were deployed from the Greenwood base after the MV Jens Warrior called at about 9 p.m. to request help for an ill crew member.

Thompson said the JRCC was called after crew consulted with a physician in Halifax for a medical opinion.

“They were advised to contact us after seeking a medical opinion and we then made the call to 14 Wing,” said Thompson. 14 Wing’s flight surgeon was in contact with the ship and ultimately made the call to deploy the SAR team.

The operation was conducted by SAR technicians who dropped down to the deck of the Liberian registered tanker and secured the  53-year-old male before hoisting him to the Cormorant helicopter.

“Search and rescue technicians are highly trained professionals. You have to take your hat off to them,” for working under pressure and in such extreme conditions, said Thompson.

The airlifted crew member was transported to Cape Breton Regional Hospital for medical attention.