August 30, 2015
Helicopter responds to emergency call
We remained in the Victoria Strait area overnight; however, the mist and reduced visibility limited the morning's activity to deploying thethreesurvey launches, while the helicopter remained grounded in the hangar. Both Gannet and Kinglett returned at lunch; however, due to growing concerns from their coxswains about the increasingly poor visibility, the hydrographic boats were returned to their cradles aboard ship. By mid-afternoon, a search and rescue tasking was received, and, after recalling the Investigator, we headed for Starvation Cove (named for the starvation of some of Franklin's men at this location on the northeast end of the Adelaide Peninsula as conveyed through Inuit testimony) using a new route based on data collected over the past few years by the CHS. Their bathymetric information allowed us to chart safe passage directly through the largely uncharted Alexandra Strait, rather than circumvent it, shaving at least six hours from reaching the site by ship. As we transited, the fog lifted, allowing us to send out the helicopter with the ship's nurse and a rescue specialist to locate, assess, treat and potentially transport the ill members of a hunting party comprising two adults and four children. Fortunately, there were no critical issues, and following treatment and consultation with the hunting party, our helicopter and its crew returned to the ship before 7:00 pm. We turned the ship, and Laurier headed back to the search site in Victoria Strait under the cover of darkness, surveying as she went.
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