Death of Labrador boy unites politicians on SAR
March 8, 2012 By Helicopters Magazine
March 8, 2012, St. John's, N.L. – The death of a Labrador boy has united Newfoundland and Labrador politicians of all stripes to push for better search and rescue services.
March 8, 2012, St. John's, N.L. – The death of a Labrador boy has united
Newfoundland and Labrador politicians of all stripes to push for
better search and rescue services.
Premier Kathy Dunderdale's Tory government backed an amended
Liberal resolution Wednesday calling for improved federal emergency
It includes a push for permanent search and rescue capability at
5 Wing Goose Bay in Labrador and the reversal of Ottawa's plans to
close the maritime rescue sub-centre in St. John's.
The sub-centre helps co-ordinate local distress response but is
slated to close later this year as part of federal spending cuts.
The original Liberal resolution, before it was amended and
passed, also urged a full investigation "examining the actions of
both federal and provincial agencies and their co-ordination and
But Dunderdale said her government has already acted.
"Mr. Speaker, the whole province has been gripped by this
terrible tragedy and this loss of life far too soon," she said in
"Immediately we undertook a review of our own protocol and that
process is ongoing. We will continue to look for ways to improve
services in search and rescue in our province."
Dunderdale said she also asked the federal government to review
related protocols, which it is doing.
Fourteen-year-old Burton Winters of Makkovik was reported missing
on Jan. 29. His body was discovered on Feb. 1, about a 19-kilometre
walk over jagged ice and snow from his abandoned snowmobile on the
frozen Labrador Sea.
His family has raised questions about why it took two days for
military aircraft to join the search. Military officials have said
equipment malfunctions and poor weather delayed their arrival and
that nothing they could have done differently would have saved the
"Family and friends of Burton Winters believe that much more
could have been done to prevent this tragedy," said Liberal member
Randy Edmunds as he presented the resolution.
Edmunds represents the Torngat Mountains district in Labrador and
is a friend of the family. He was aboard the civilian helicopter
that found the boy's body.
The government proposed several changes to the Liberal
resolution, including deleting a phrase that "assets were not
adequately deployed during the search for Burton Winters."