SAR Tech lost in Nunavut rescue receives posthumous bravery award Print

Sgt. Jannik GilbertPeople across Nunavut were deeply saddened by the tragic loss of a Canadian Forces Search and Rescue Technician involved in a rescue effort near Igloolik, Nunavut on October 27, 2011.  Sergeant Janik Gilbert was one of three SAR Techs who jumped into the icy waters of Hecla Strait in an effort to rescue two Igloolik hunters.  He did not survive.

Gilbert was with the 424 Transport and Rescue Squadron based at the Canadian Force Base in Trenton, Ontario.  This group is responsible for aerial search and rescue operations in a large part of arctic Canada.  Having spent time in a Hercules as a volunteer spotter with the Iqaluit Civil Air Search and Rescue Assocation (CASARA)  group over the years, we've had a chance to see first hand the amazing work done by Canadian Forces Search and Rescue crews.  Anyone who travels in the north, by air, sea or land, knows the importance of their brave and selfless service.

CBC News has a story about the tragedy here, including links to earlier stories and the official statement from the Canadian Forces.   The Royal Canadian Air Force website also has an article on the tragedy.

Funeral services were held November 5th at La Chapelle Ste-Jeanne D'Arc at Canadian Forces Base Valcartier, Quebec.  Here is an article about the funeral.

UPDATE December 21, 2011:

The Canadian Department of National Defence published the Aircraft Occurrence Summary outlining what happened on October 27, 2011.  Read the report here.  A final report is expected in October 2012.  See the CBC News story here.

UPDATE June 16, 2012

Gilbert was posthumously awarded the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea. CBC News has a story about the bravery award here.

UPDATE October 6,  2012

SAR TechsThe Search and Rescue crew that performed this mission were honoured with a national award for the complex and demanding rescue mission.  See the story here.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 09 October 2012 18:26