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Sgt. Ken Power, veteran and heroic rescuer, has brook named in his honour

Eye In The Sky

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Sgt. Ken Power, veteran and heroic rescuer, has brook named in his honour

Power was honoured twice by governor general for 2 separate harrowing rescues

A late Cape Breton veteran who was the hero of two separate dramatic rescues during his life is being remembered with a scene far more placid: a Nova Scotia brook named in his honour.

The Ken Power Brook about 55 km west of Sydney is named after Sgt. Kenneth James Power, a Royal Canadian Air Force search and rescue technician who died in 2014 at age 59.

About 40 people including family members and MLA Michel Samson gathered for a ceremony marking the name change, which included a flyover by a CC-130 Hercules aircraft. The previously unnamed brook flows between Munroe Lake and Lake Uist.

Power, born in New Waterford, N.S., was a 35-year veteran of the Royal Canadian Air Force.

'Conspicuous courage'

"He served 25 years as an operational search and rescue technician on bases from Gander, N.L., to Comox, B.C., logging more than 8,200 flying hours during his career," the province said in a news release.

In 1998, Power was presented the Star of Courage, which is awarded for "acts of conspicuous courage in circumstances of great peril."

The website for the office of the governor general says that on Sept. 24, 1996, Power and Master Cpl. Gregory Allan Smit rescued four sailors from a sailboat in danger of capsizing in heavy seas in the Atlantic off Sable Island.

Raging sea

The vessel's wildly gyrating mast made a typical rescue impossible, so the two men "were lowered into the raging sea from a hovering rescue helicopter and battled six-metre waves to swim to the vessel." Battling exhaustion and swallowing "a large amount" of water, Power rescued two of the men.

Power was honoured again in 2001, this time with the Medal of Bravery, for another rescue.

Power and Master Cpl. Sylvain Joseph Roger Trudel jumped at night from a Hercules aircraft to rescue two men whose Cessna floatplane had crashed into a deep and narrow valley north of Havre St-Pierre, Que.

"Equipped with night vision goggles, the search and rescue technicians located the plane upside down on the shore of a small wooded island surrounded by 600-metre cliffs," the citation says. "Fearing for the victims' lives and with the Labrador rescue helicopter some five hours away, [Power and Trudel] elected to effect a risky flare-illuminated parachute descent into the rugged and mountainous terrain."

'Great pride'

They landed a short distance from the crash site and cared for the injured survivors until the rescue helicopter arrived.

The idea to name the brook came from Power's brother, Ray Stapleton, who applied for the change under a provincial program that names geographical features after Nova Scotians.

"My brother wasn't one to speak about his heroic exploits or the tremendous burden placed on him and his family," Stapleton said in a statement. "We are here to honour his memory and the contribution he made to his country. We, his family, take great pride in having this brook named in his honour."

RIP  :cdn:

Anyone with SAR jump experience care to detail how difficult a night jump into a ravine using flares as illumination might be?  Because it sounds pretty crazy to me.


Good that he's been honoured and further recognized like this.  It is a shame, however that many times it is only done after they have passed away and not while they are still with us.  Margaret Brooke, comes to mind as a timely naming as she was delighted at becoming part of the Harry Dewolfe class.