Today was anything but ordinary at the Courtenay Airpark when a 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron CH-149 Cormorant touched down at 9:00 a.m. at the municipal aerodrome in search of an Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT).

The Search and Rescue (SAR) crew and aircraft were not conducting training but where, in fact, tasked on a mission by the Joint Rescue Coordination Center (JRCC) Victoria to track the signal that was being detected in the Sechelt area along the Straits of Georgia.

The signal eventually homed to a privately owned Cessena parked at the airpark. Upon landing, two SAR technicians promptly jumped out and headed for the small aircraft. Unable to contact the pilot, the SAR Techs were able to turn off the ELT and left a friendly note for the pilot apprising him of the situation.

It is not known why the ELT emitted a signal but the mission proved to be uneventful in that no aircraft was involved in an incident and no one was injured.

“Fortunately, the mission was minor and no lives were at risk. Nevertheless, the Cormorant’s presence in the heart of the Town of Courtenay serves as a reminder that RCAF SAR resources are always there to help,” expressed Col Tom Dunne, 19 Wing Commander.” This is yet another fine example of the extent of our mandate to search and to locate people in distress no matter what the time of year or the circumstances involved.”

While many will be enjoying this holiday season with families and friends, several members of 442 T&R Squadron will be on call ready to respond to any situations that might require a SAR response.

“I am incredibly proud of our men and women in uniform who will be standing the watch over the holiday season this year. Keeping Canadians safe is a 24/7 job, and I thank these individuals as well as their families for their ongoing service to our nation and the sacrifices they make every day.” – Rear-Admiral Bill Truelove, Commander Maritime Forces Pacific/Joint Task Force Pacific