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Search & Rescue: A Look At Canadian Operations

Brendan Cook   |   December 7, 2016

Canadian Search and Rescue

It’s not easy being responsible for safeguarding the lives of those at risk throughout Canada. With an area spanning from the US border to the North Pole and from 600 nautical miles (1,111 km) off the coast of Vancouver Island to 900 nautical miles (1,667 km) into the Atlantic Ocean from Newfoundland, the Canadian National Search and Rescue Program (NSP) has its hands full.


By Navy photo by Photographer's Mate Airman Tina Lamb. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Working Together

In Canada, the NSP is a combined effort of federal, provincial, and territorial departments as well as municipalities, volunteers, and various organizations – collectively working together to provide search and rescue (SAR) services within Canada’s harshest environments.

The NSP is directed by the National Search and Rescue Secretariat (NSS); they are responsible for coordinating Canada’s entire SAR organizations from all forms of government to the volunteer communities, such as the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary. The NSS not only handles the NSP, they also focus on international collaborations as well as multijurisdictional; guiding multi-SAR teams to ensure they achieve their goal in the most effective manner.

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Equipped for Success

The Canadian Armed Forces and SAR contingents are strategically placed all throughout the country in areas that are historically prone to missions. A Successful operation is made possible by having the proper resources and equipment at the right time - being able to rapidly act in a situation could be the difference in saving a life.

In some instances, having the proper tool at hand could maximize the chances of having a positive outcome. Imagine being called to a ship slowly sinking to the bottom of the icy Lake Erie - during the rescue, someone slips on ice, falls overboard and doesn't resurface. Professional divers could take up to an hour to prepare for the mission - in this situation, having a quick-response, submersible drone at the ready to conduct a search would possibly be the safest option.

Deep Trekker is not new to search and rescue - the submersible ROVs were used in a mission to aid in the search and rescue of a sunken South Korea Ferry.

Whether you are frozen in icy waters or stranded on a mountain top, rest assured that the Canadian Search and Rescue team is abundantly equipped and affirmatively prepared to ensure everyone comes home safely.

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