A national search and rescue (SAR) exercise conducted in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, from September 18-24 highlighted the importance of conducting real-world SAR missions and training to ensure crews are ready to respond when Canadians are in distress. The value of the exercise was further underlined when exercise participants unexpectedly provided real-time assistance to a canoeist in distress on Great Slave Lake, Northwest Territories, and, in a separate incident, rescued four individuals from a remote area near Ulukhaktok, Northwest Territories.
This annual national exercise, National SAREX 2016, involved more than 230 participants and international guest observers. The training brought together the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Public Safety Canada and Transport Canada. The Civil Air Search and Rescue Association (CASARA), The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and ground search and rescue elements also played a prominent role during the major air disaster simulation that took place on Friday, September 23, 2016.
Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) personnel from across Canada have now returned home after participating in the exercise, which provided a valuable opportunity for the RCAF’s search and rescue (SAR) community to enhance readiness by participating in challenging training.
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