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Penticton  

Military, SAR practice rescue

Chelsea Powrie

A Castanet reader who witnessed a helicopter lifting what looked like a body from Okanagan Lake Tuesday evening was at first worried something was wrong. 

Luckily, it was just the Penticton Search and Rescue undergoing a joint training exercise with the Royal Canadian Air Force 442 Transport and Rescue Squad near Three Mile Beach. 

"We've done it from time to time, worked with them, for sure," said PenSAR search manager Dale Jorgensen. "They needed a boat for part of their training so we certainly offered up our boat no problem."

The 442 group was running certification exercises for people looking to work on the Cormorant helicopter, a major search and rescue vessel for the squad. They dropped three people in the water along with an evaluator, who swam to the PenSAR boat and did other exercises. 

"They went through a simulation of someone who was injured on our boat of whether it was necessary to take them off the boat and fly them away," Jorgensen said. 

He said it was a great experience for PenSAR members, since the Cormorant craft occasionally assists with rescues, especially in treacherous conditions and at night. 

"The more you get to know about how it all works, it just makes it that much easier," Jorgensen said. "It was a wonderful experience, they are highly trained very effective people to work with. It was a wonderful opportunity."

 



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