SAR tech died “in the water” during rescue mission: RCMP

“Tragically, one of the SAR Tech Rescuers was found to be non-responsive in the water”


The RCMP in Nunavut has revealed more about the circumstances that led to the death of a search-and-rescue technician from Canadian Forces Base Trenton who died Oct. 27 during a rescue mission near Igloolik.

Sgt. Janick Gilbert died Thursday night during a mission near Igloolik, the Department of National Defence said Friday.

“Tragically, one of the SAR Tech Rescuers was found to be non-responsive in the water by the team and was transported to the Igloolik Health Center where he was pronounced deceased at approximately 1:00 in the morning,” it said.

Police in Igloolik received a call at about 7:53 p.m Oct. 26 about an emergency transponder activated by two hunters who were trying to return to Igloolik, police said Oct. 28.

The hunters’ boat was located about 15 km southeast of the community and search and rescue teams from Igloolik and CFB Trenton were sent out to help.

“There was inclement weather at the time, with high gusts of wind up to 70 km per hour and blowing snow. Visibility was low,” the RCMP said.

A Canadian Forces Hercules aircraft found the two men during the early hours of Oct. 27.

“The boat was drifting and appeared to be broken down,” police said.

Three search and rescue technicians “entered the waters” and rescued the two hunters at about 5:15 p.m. Oct. 27. One of the SAR techs was pronounced dead after group returned to Igloolik.

The two hunters, suffering from non-life threatening injuries that included hypothermia, were treated at the Igloolik Health Center, police said.

The members of the Igloolik RCMP continue to investigate the incident. Police said more details will be released after their investigation is completed.

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