CAF Story: Ice Rescue
Video / June 23, 2016
Warrant Officer Aaron Bygrove: We parachuted and were able to rescue two hunters and a helicopter pilot who had crashed through the ice out on Hudson Bay. My name is Warrant Officer Aaron Bygrove, this is Master-Corporal Bruno Robitaille.
Master-Corporal Bruno Robitaille: For myself, at nine years old I saw a program about search and rescue, and since that day I did everything I could to be a Search and Rescue Technician.
We parachuted with medical and survival needs for him and myself. When we landed on the ground there were three patients. There were Inuit and the pilot, who was submerged in water. It was –36, plus the wind. I personally took care of the medical aspect for the patients and everything having to do with logistics and extraction. I warmed up the pilot, who was still submerged during that time. Aaron started to put up the tent. We brought the three patients inside. We were able to bring the three patients to a suitable temperature. And then later, about two hours from when we’d jumped, the 417 Squadron from Cold Lake came to extract us. We were busy the whole time. Trying all the time to do something to improve our quality of life because, yes, you know the helicopter will come, but you never know if it will really happen. But we have all that we need to spend the night, no matter what. It's a team effort.
Warrant Officer Aaron Bygrove: We took some calculated risks, risks that needed to be taken to save lives. We worked our crew, as well as Search and Rescue as a whole. At Rideau Hall we were both honored with a Meritorious Service Medal. I feel, and we feel, honoured today to receive this. Not only for ourselves, but also for the Canadian Forces Air Force who is tasked with almost a thousand missions every year to help bring back people and save lives.
Master-Corporal Bruno Robitaille: Anytime, anywhere, we’ll be there. That’s what we do.
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