Keen observation by a Durham Regional Police Officer aboard Air1 is being credited with saving the life of a Richmond Hill man involved in a parachuting accident near Hamilton over the weekend.
Constable Rick Ross was combing the countryside while inside Air1 as part of a multi-police search and rescue operation in the early morning hours of Sunday, September 1, 2002. Cst. Ross was getting low on fuel at approximately 2 a.m. when he noticed a speck of colour under a tree about 550 metres west of a quarry in Flamborough.
Air1’s powerful searchlight was focused on the area and officers on the ground were directed to the right location, where they rescued the 40-year-old Richmond Hill man. He was taken to hospital with serious injuries and is expected to survive.
The victim is an experienced skydiver, but his parachute was opened prematurely by a gust of wind, knocking him against the plane. He fell approximately 3,000 metres with his chute open, and authorities believe he was probably unconscious during the descent.
Cst. Ross credits the team effort of rescue workers and indicated that Air1’s search capabilities were perfectly suited to the task due to the large and rugged terrain.
For more information on the Air Support Unit, check their Web page.
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