TYSON WHITNEY PHOTO The Port Hardy Canadian Rangers boarded two helicopters at Tsulquate Park on Saturday Feb 4 2017.

Port Hardy Rangers Helicopter Operation Approved

“On the North Island, we are your go to search and rescue people.”

The Rangers will once again be landing their helicopters in Tsulquate Park this fall.

Ranger Kevin McGhee made the landing request at Port Hardy’s council meeting on June 27.

Last year, McGhee requested district support for a training exercise.

“We flew out to lawn point and did a survey of the crashed world war II aircraft site during hurricane conditions – It was an interesting flight, but it went quite well,” said McGhee.

The request to council was for another operation to take place the weekend of October 13. “We are still ironing out details, but every now and then we are asked to support search and rescue in austere conditions, where they need a helicopter landing pad built,” McGhee told council, adding the idea is “that we are going to fly out of here to a location to be determined, and learn how to build a helicopter pad.”

McGee said the rangers have tentative approval to complete the operation at Blunden Harbour “to support the Gwa’sala band. One of our rangers is a member of the band and said ‘what about doing it here?’. Now it’s just a matter of going out and seeing if there is a suitable location and material to do so,” McGhee said.

Mayor Hank Bood asked McGhee to clarify what is the general mission of the rangers on the North Island.

“On the North Island, we are your go to search and rescue people,” answered McGhee. “You have a three hour wait to get search and rescue out of Campbell River, and we can be ready at a moments notice. We can go out to the land for up to three days unsullied and unsupported.”

He said around 10 people will hopefully be involved in the operation and the Port Hardy Rangers currently have 11 active members.

McGhee’s request was unanimously approved by council.

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