Search and rescue exercise at YLW underway

Canadian Armed Forces personnel guide a Search and Rescue Buffalo aircraft as part of exercises taking place in Kelowna this week.

If there's an unusual helicopter scooting across the sky this week or a person parachuting using a bright orange canopy, it's just part of search and rescue exercises taking place at Kelowna airport and surrounding areas from March 18-22.

The purpose of the exercise is to maintain 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron's ability to conduct a major Search and Rescue operation for Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Victoria, and to work with partners like the Civil Air Search and Rescue Association.

During the week rescue technicians will be parachuting from Buffalo aircraft and Cormorant helicopter crews will conduct hoist operations. Organizers want the public to know activities are carefully controlled training scenarios and unless otherwise stated, do not constitute a response to an actual emergency.

They also want the public to know training will not effect the ability of the squadron to respond to an actual rescue mission.

The exercise is being conducted under Canadian Armed Forces training regulations to protect the public as well as forces members.

Oyama has already been hit by extensive flooding and lake levels are expected to rise for several more weeks.
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