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Canadian Forces win international award

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Canadian Forces win international award
AgustaWestland is pleased to congratulate members of the Canadian Forces 442 Squadron based Canadian Forces Base Comox, British Columbia, for winning this year’s Prince Philip Helicopter Rescue Award for “Outstanding Courage or Devotion in the Air.”


August 3, 2010
By Wings Canada

Aug. 3, 2010, British Columbia – AgustaWestland is pleased to congratulate members of the Canadian Forces 442 Squadron based Canadian Forces Base Comox, British Columbia, for winning this year’s Prince Philip Helicopter Rescue Award for “Outstanding Courage or Devotion in the Air.”

The winners were announced at the base by John Burley, Chairman of the London Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators (Canada). The Guild’s press release may be found at http://www.gapan.org/canada-region/news-brief/. The award will be presented in a ceremony at the Guild Hall, London, U.K. on October 21, 2010. The award honours the crew of Cormorant #902 for their efforts in the Homathko Glacier Rescue on the night of April 24, 2009. The Recipients are:

  • Major Jason M. Von Kruse
  • LCol J.E. Christian Lalande
  • Cpl B.R. Dominic Frenette
  • Sgt. Kent J. Gulliford
  • MCpl Billy R. Ternes

The dangerous rescue was conducted in darkness on a moonless night at 3 a.m. in the morning on the side of a steep B.C. glacier. The crew were required to hover their EH101 helicopter at 2,650 metres, first lowering a line to rescue two climbers from a 45-degree slope then lowering a search-and-rescue technician into a 30-metre-deep crevasse, where the seriously injured third climber had fallen. Unfortunately the victim was found without vital signs and pronounced dead on arrival at hospital despite the heroic lifesaving effort.

“This was an exceptional rescue by the Canadian Forces SAR technicians and helicopter crew, which is highly deserving of this prestigious international recognition and I am again, pleased to offer our congratulations to these outstanding members of the Canadian Forces,” said Mr. Graham Cole, Managing Director, AgustaWestland.

The crew of Cormorant #902 was also the 2009 winner of the Cormorant Trophy, awarded annually by AgustaWestland to the crew of the Canadian Search and Rescue aircraft that carried out the most significant rescue of the year. Full details of the Cormorant Trophy award are available at (http://www.agustawestland.com/news/agustawestland-congratulates-2009-cormorant-trophy-winners).

This is the second time Sgt. Gulliford has been awarded the Prince Philip Helicopter Award as a member of a search and rescue crew aboard a Cormorant, making him the only double winner in the international award’s 22-year history. Gulliford and his fellow crew members aboard Cormorant #901 won the 2007 award for what was described by the Canadian Forces as a “hair-raising rescue ..which pushed all the limits.” The rescue is detailed on the Canadian Forces web site athttp://www.airforce.forces.gc.ca/19w-19e/nr-sp/index-eng.asp?cat=79&id=4966.