Dear Prime Minister Harper:
I am writing a letter with regard to the ineffectiveness of the SAR handling of the recent call for assistance by the Makkovik RCMP detachment regarding the report of a missing youth, Burton Winters. The call on Sunday January 29, from the RCMP detachment in Makkovik to the Fire and Emergency NL(FES), who in turn called the Joint Rescue Coordinator Center(JRCC) Halifax was not addressed the way that any person in dire need of assistance would need it to be handled. There have been five different responses from DND in the managing of the call for assistance, they were stated publicly within the media in both television and radio. I have those stories documented as they were presented to the public. The five reasons stated publicly by DND include;
1. Communication problems 2. Technical equipment problems 3. Weather 4. Local Resources being used in the search. 5. Didn't get a second call
I have also read the DND Internal report and it verifies as well, the five reasons stated above. I feel that, if anything, the DND internal report has clarified many problems that have been exposed within the existing SAR procedures in Labrador. The inconsistencies and loop holes were vast enough to permit, not one, but two, Griffon Helicopters slip through in such an emergency. I understand that the 444 Squadron in HVGB has SAR as their secondary role, however, what is the point in having that role if they are not available for such emergencies?
I am requesting an independent investigation into the handling of the missing boy, Burton Winters call on Sunday January 29, from the RCMP detachment in Makkovik to the Fire and Emergency NL(FES) who in turn called the Joint Rescue Coordinator Center(JRCC Halifax). It must be warranted. It is completely justifiable due to the five reasons stated within this letter by the reports made to the media and in the DND Internal report. It is my opinion that those are five valid reasons for an independent investigation.
I am also requesting that a fully functional SAR be situated within Labrador in Burton Winters name. The existing policies and procedures in place do not work. That proved to be evident with the death of Burton Winters and the ineffectiveness to save him. How many other people in our region will be in the same situation that will result in their demise. Please consider my plea for both an independent investigation and a fully functioning SAR in Labrador in honour of Burton Winters.