In June of 1970, a CH124 Sea King was involved in a rescue mission about 150 kilometers off the coast of Halifax, Nova Scotia. The Sea King, a twin-engined anti-submarine warfare helicopter flown by the Canadian armed forces for more than 50 years, has come to occupy a special place within the lives and shared history of the men and women who worked on them, relied on them, and told stories about them. What happened that June 49 years ago, when the Sea King was still a relatively new addition to the Canadian Armed Forces livery, is just one of those stories, but it’s indelible.
A mixed crew of four boarded a Sea King on that Friday afternoon and headed out in search of some Canadian fishermen that had been set adrift when their ship was cut in half by a Russian trawler. This event made news earlier in the day, but a mix-up in the distress call led to the Navy searching where there was nothing to be found. With a renewed sense of urgency, our crew in the Sea King found their fishermen a few hours later, scooped them up, and headed home.