The tragic story of a 14 year old boy who perished alone on the frozen ice on the North Coast of Labrador near his home of Makovik will be the focus of an investigative piece that delves into the Department of National Defence's response to calls for assistance.
I have tried to take a balanced approach to this tragic issue since the death of this young man. There appeared to be a lot of contributing factors - poor weather, malfunctioning equipment, poor communication between ground searchers and the fact that the young man was out on a snow machine in a blizzard in the first place.
I just finished listening to an interview on CBC's Morning Show previewing tonight's documentary and I am shocked.
The Fifth Estate says the operational log related to
the incident provides contradictory weather reports show the conditions
were twice as good as required by search and rescue helicopters to fly
safely. The so called call-back protocol that was blamed for the military not participating when the weather improved appears not to be know to veteran search and rescue officials!
It appears that everyone of the official excuses offered by National Defense were just ass covering exercises. One can only guess that no one thought that an investigative powerhouse like The Fifth Estate would be digging into this tragedy.
The real issue is appears is the state of Search and Rescue assets in Atlantic Canada that were not operational at the time of the boys death on the ice. The The Fifth Estate death says not only were the Search and helicopters in Goose Bay out of service, but all three Hercules transport planes in Atlantic Canada were unable to fly that night!
Search-and-rescue co-ordination currently run out of St. John's will be shifted to Halifax on April 25th.. A similar facility in Quebec City was supposed to have moved to Trenton. That move has been placed on hold. The issue was front and center in the provincial House of Assembly this week. The opposition claims the provincial government has been weak in fighting Ottawa on the issue. The Premier said the opposition should be questioning the Liberal MP's from the province who she says have not been doing much to advance the issue in the House of Commons.
I really miss Danny! I know who is not fighting for us.
The story just proves that Newfoundland and Labrador has substandard search and rescue service. That lives in this province mean very little when it comes to the Conservatives.
The story is growing from a regional tragedy to a national disgrace!