Friday, October 28, 2011
My deepest sympathies to the families and friends of a brave soldier, Sergeant Janick Gilbert. He died a hero, saving lives.
A soldier has died after jumping into icy, stormy waters in an attempt to save a pair of stranded boaters in Nunavut.
Sergeant Janick Gilbert was a search and rescue technician based at Canadian Forces Base Trenton in Ontario.
Captain Pierre Bolduc said Sgt. Gilbert and two other rescue technicians jumped into the Hecla Strait from a military aircraft Thursday.
The C-130 Hercules had flown north to Nunavut after two men in an open boat ran into trouble about 25 kilometres east of Igloolik.
The men were in the boat, battling strong winds and high waves. Community residents in two other boats tried to rescue the men, but couldn't reach them.
Capt. Bolduc said after the three soldiers jumped in, all five waited three hours for a Cormorant helicopter to arrive from CFB Gander in Newfoundland and pick them up.
Death of Sergeant Janick Gilbert
October 28, 2011
Message from His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada, on the Death of Sergeant Janick Gilbert
OTTAWA— Sharon and I have just received the tragic news of the death of Sergeant Janick Gilbert, a member of 8 Wing Trenton of the Royal Canadian Air Force.
Sergeant Gilbert, a search and rescue technician, was taking part in a rescue operation near Igloolik (Hall Beach), Nunavut. Unfortunately, in the course of this dangerous mission, he lost his life. The operation itself resulted in the rescue of two local citizens.
He has demonstrated tremendous courage in circumstances of great peril. His sacrifice will not be in vain; we will be forever grateful to him.
On behalf of all Canadians, we offer our sincerest condolences to the family, loved ones and colleagues of Sergeant Gilbert. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.