Archive: News

CASARA Niagara participates in Annual Christmas Parade

CASARA Niagara shows its stuff in Annual Christmas Parade

Every year for the last ten years, approximately ten to twenty members of CASARA Niagara (CARES) participate in the annual Niagara on The Lake, Christmas Parade. It is an opportunity not only for our members to come together in anticipation of a visit from old St. Nick but to also create an awareness in our local community of CASARA and the works we do. As a result of our participation CASARA Niagara enjoys a very high profile in the community. Niagara has a large and diverse volunteer base. We joyfully hand out yes, you guessed it, Lifesavers to the children who line the five kilometer parade route winding through the old town and finishing up near the Cenotaph. It is one of the largest parades in Ontario with over 100 floats. Attendance typically runs in the 3000 to 4000 range.

Here is a photo of this years crew.

In whichever tradition you choose to recognize the holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays from CASARA Ontario.


Emergency Responders recognized by CANADA Post

Emergency First Responders recognized by CANADA Post

As many if you know a commorative stamp was commisioned recently to recognize the contributions made by first reposnders. CASARA is recognized as one of those groups.

Click on the link below to read the article and photo from one of the recent presenations.

Click here!


Arctic Trainer’s continue. CASARA is there!

Successful Arctic Trainer completed this month 

Here is what was accomplished during the week. Below are the National CLO’s comments.
The team is now back in the warm and humid weather.  The team did a fantastic job working long hours.
We visited: Kuujjuaq, Iqaluit, Pond Inlet, Arctic Bay, Resolute Bay and Rankin Inlet travelling over 4500nm in five days and saw muskox, bowhead whale, narwhal, orcas, beluga, polar bears.
We flew thirty-two hours on the Hercules and six hours on the Twin Otter.
We trained fifty-two spotters and made Arctic Bay, Resolute Bay and Rankin Inlet operational.
We setup the CVT and trained Arctic Bay and Rankin Inlet on the CVT.
Abdoul Diakite and Taha Tabish are competent on Spotter training (Hercules and Twin Otter), TMMS and CVT.
Many new and younger members joined CASARA Nunavut.
This could not have been done without the combined support of 424 SQN and CASARA. Thank you to the whole team for your professionalism and your dedication to Search and Rescue and CASARA.
Ceci ne serait pas possible sans les efforts combiné de l’escadron 424 et CASARA-SERABEC.  Merci à toute l’équipe pour votre professionnalisme et votre dévouement à la Recherche et Sauvetage et SERABEC.

Scroll down through this journey and follow the crew each day as they trained new members!


On the schedule for Monday is training around Mount Thor, Pond Inlet and Resolute Bay.

Members from Ontario, Quebec and Nunavut are there including…

Steve Hunsberger: Thunder Bay
Paul Laliberté: Québec
Andre Boulanger: Victoriaville
Mike McKay: Ottawa
Abdoul Diakite: Iqaluit
Taha Tabish: Iqaluit



On the schedule for Tuesday…Mary Jawarenko continues to be a great CASARA volunteer in Pond Inlet. Eleven spotters were trained today and many saw narwhal at the same time. CLOs trained the spotters. Ontario members trained Nunavut members on TMMS. Québec members setup ground targets for the spotters.
True team work and cooperation between CASARA and the RCAF.

On the schedule for Wednesday…Today the crew is at the Narwhal airport hotel.
Pre flight planning,TMMS training. Eleven spotters will be trained today.













Tabitha Mullin (Resolute Bay Unit Director) (wearing a hat) training one of her member onboard the CC130. Nine members became operational today and are ready for an active searches to support the RCAF.

Mike McKay (Ottawa) and Abdoul Diakite (Iqaluit) were also instructing onboard the CC130.

Tabitha (Wildlife officer) and Angela (Parks Canada manager) share their knowledge of the land and culture by showing the crew their hunting grounds and hunting cabins.

Andre Boulanger
Taha Tabish
Paul Laliberté
Steve Hunsberger
Maj Claude Courcelles


While there is little doubt as to the seriousness of the mission, later in the day the crew did find time to engage in some team building exercises when they went off on a “polar bear hunt”. Major Courcelles told them to quickly crab their cameras because he had just seen a polar bear. The team was excited. They grabbed their cameras and binoculars and followed the Major.

“To their surprise, I took them to the Resolute Bay terminal. We had a good laugh”.


Later on the team gathered together to see how many could fit on an ice flow.

By the icy arctic water.
Maj Claude Courcelles (NCLO)
Capt Marty Zimmer (424 Sqn CLO)
Taha Tabish (Iqaluit)
Andre Boulanger (Victoriaville)
Paul Laliberté (Québec city)
Steve Hunsberger (Thunder Bay)
Mike McKay (Ottawa)
Angela Piercey (Resolute Bay)



The CASARA/SERABEC team has done a fantastic job today in Arctic Bay. We had three lifts on the Twin Otter. We put together the CVT and instructed the unit director on its operation. We updated TMMS on the training done. Arctic Bay is now operational and ready to take calls from JRCC.


Transit back to Resolute Bay. It was a long day but flying at 10,000 ft. without oxygen and without pressurization is not easy on the body.

The Team!













The Major takes any opportunity to recruit new members.





Today the crew is getting ride to to their training by CASARA Member Charlene Kindly.

CVT Training today


Flying with Nanna Charlene
















Spotter training complete. Thirteen new spotters qualified!

CASARA attends Brantford Community Charity Airshow Aug 29th, 2018

CASARA attends Brantford Community Charity Airshow Aug 29th, 2018

On Wednesday the 29th of August CASARA attended the Brantford Community Charity Airshow for the first time. Attendance despite being on a weekday was unofficially in excess of 10,000 people. CARES Niagara attended with with two assets. Their mobile communications platform and it’s twin engine Cessna Skymaster. The van and the aircraft were open for inspection to the public. It was a great day to highlight the value of CASARA to the general public and to make aware the contrubution that CASARA makes to Search and Rescue in Canada. Other than some light rain and cloud cover the weather was great for watching our RCAF Snowbirds, our CF-18 painted in the 60th anniversery of NORAD blues, the venerable Lancaster out of Hamilton, Fifi a restored B-29 bomber and a few other aerobatic aircraft.

See the link to the promo page here

Brantford Community Charity Airshow 2018

Check out the photos below…

Air Force Day at the Warplane Heritage Museum in Hamilton another great CASARA success story.

CARES Niagara celebrates Air Force day at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum at CYHM.

Our Mobile Communications Platform. CASARA aircrews often locate targets from the air and then guides our Van into the crash site.

To quote the late Stuart Mclean (Vinyl Cafe). “We may not be big, but we’re small!”

Our crew for the day.

To make the best use of our resources we always train on the way to and from great events like these.

We make extensive use of technology including ForeFlight

“The eyes of life” and the most important memeber of a CASARA aircrew.

An early morning for us. Up at 0430 EST. Pre-flight 0530 EST.








CASARA Ontario Award Winners for 2018

CASARA Ontario Award Winners for 2018

Please help me to recognize this years award winners.

Don Harris Award for Excellence awarded to John Ferguson and Jim Geils

John Ferguson (Mike McKay accepting on his behalf)

Jim Geils

Jim Graydon
Dr. John Kidd Award went to New Liskeard. Jim Graydon accepting.

Joint SAREX with Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary and 424 Sqn. a great success

Joint SAREX with Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary and 424 Sqn. a great success

This year marks the sixth time that exercises have been held on both Lakes Erie and Ontario in preparation for SAR season.
Elements from both the Canadian Coast Guard, Coast Guard Auxiliary, local fire departments, EMS as well as local police forces took part in our most successful exercise to date. Our own 424 Squadron was also very prominent on the Sunday of the two day exercise.

Check out the post below for more information.

Welland Tribune Article

Coast Guard Article

RCAF Facebook Video

CASARA Ontario – Team and Individual Awards Nominations are now Open!

It’s that time of the year again where you get to recognize a CASARA member or Zone for their contribution to SAR over the past twelve months. Please feel free to send your nominations to Dee at CASARA Ontario

Thank you for your support in recognizing our most important asset…our members!

CASARA Ontario makes significant donation to True Patiot Love

John M Daniels CD, FRAes, President of Civil Air Search and Rescue Association (CASARA) Ontario (Right) and Terry F. Nord, Executive Member of CASARA Ontario (Left) making a presentation of a $5000 donation to Bronwen Evan, CEO True Patriot Love.

True Patriot Love is a national charity that supports military families, funds community-based programs and contributes to the Canadian Insitutue for Military and Veteran Health Research.

CASARA Ontario is a non-profit aviation association whose aim is to provide a trained group of volunteers to aid and assist the Department of National Defence in the conduct of Search and Rescue (SAR) activities and in the promotion of SAR Awareness to the Ontario public.