Search and Rescue Teams

Red parachute jumper landingThe amphitheatre at Fort William Historical Park (FWHP) has been the scene of award-winning rock concerts, aboriginal festivals and community but it also has become a handy spot where members of the Canadian Forces could literally “drop” in for a visit and “hang out.”

Such was the case September 25th as the Fort hosted some of the country’s best search and rescue teams who were participating in the National Search and Rescue Exercise (SAREX) competitions that had been happening throughout the week within Thunder Bay.

Activities included dramatic 5000-foot parachute drops, helicopter landings and aerial manoeuvres involving a Canadian Hercules C-130 and a U.S. operated  HH-65A Dolphin helicopter.

Residents were invited to come to the Fort to witness the exercises free of charge. 

The SAREX is annual event staged by the Canadian Forces.

The event features all of Canada's primary search and rescue units, the Canadian Coast guard and representatives from the US reserves.  The events in Thunder Bay provided a rare glimpse for the public to see these dedicated units in action.

Roughly 300 of the best Canadian Forces search and rescue personnel (plus six Civilian Air Search and Rescue Association unites, a U.S. Air Force reserve squadron and a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter unit) had been in Thunder Bay since September 22nd for the SAREX competitions.

“Hosting a unique event such as this further enhances the Fort’s reputation as a multi-functional facility,” said FWHP General Manager Sergio Buonocore.

Thunder Bay Airport and Lakehead University were among other local sites seeing activity.

Rescue helicopter hovering