Go Bold #5: Stories from the Cockpit: Capt. Evan Southern on a record breaking Search and Rescue mission

RCAF Cormorant helicopter

Capt. Evan Southern is a Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) pilot who flies the CH-149 Cormorant search and rescue helicopter, a variant of the Leonardo AW101 (EH101).

This episode details the harrowing Search and Rescue (SAR) mission of 15 November 2021, where hundreds of motorists were trapped on a British Columbia highway due to landslides caused by torrential rain.

You’ll hear how Capt. Southern and his crew — who are members of 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron located at Canadian Forces Base Comox — were the first to respond to the call for help.

The Squadron ultimately deployed three Cormorant helicopters in different configurations to respond to this particular SAR mission. You’ll hear about the Cormorant’s capabilities and some of the tactics that SAR pilots use in training and how they apply that to operational missions.

The Cormorant crews worked all day to rescue over 300 people, breaking all previous records for people rescued in a singe mission by the type.

If that wasn’t enough, 442 Squadron also responded to two other SAR missions that day — one for a vessel in distress, and the other for a small aircraft that was reported to be down.

You’ll hear about the skill and professionalism at 442 Squadron, whose motto is “That Others May Live”.

Thanks to Capt. Southern for sharing his first hand account of that day, and thanks to his crew as well because there is no doubt it’s a team effort.

We commend 442 Squadron for the work they do year-round that others may live!

Go Bold!