ARCHIVED - Good Samaritians from HMCS Regina Assist Injured Driver During Tanzania Motor Vehicle Accident

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HMCS Regina - OP ARTEMIS / April 2, 2014

By Lt(N) Mark Fifield, Op ARTEMIS Roto 4 PAO

Several members of HMCS Regina rendered assistance to an injured driver at the scene of a motor vehicle accident on a major highway in Tanzania on March 18, 2014 during Operation ARTEMIS.

The members were travelling on Tanzania’s major east-west highway back to the port city of Dar es Salaam when they came upon the scene of a motor vehicle accident where a tractor trailer had collided with another vehicle. The damage was so severe that the cab of the tractor trailer, after being crushed by impact, had the injured driver pinned inside the vehicle.

“The situation was chaotic when we first arrived on scene, and the driver was in significant pain and distress,” said Cpl Wade McAllister. “It was an experience that we won’t soon forget, but I’m glad that we were there to lend a helping hand.”

Regina’s members took a series of immediate actions to take control of the scene by directing the rescue effort, providing first aid and extracting the injured driver from the vehicle. Some of the crew assisted the injured driver while others used a variety of methods to help pry the cab open so they could extract the driver through the broken windshield. Once the driver was safely out of the vehicle, an individual who identified himself as a physician took over care of the driver. After directing bystanders back to their vehicles, the members then resumed their trip back to HMCS Regina alongside in Dar es Salaam.

“The ship’s company responded very quickly and effectively to do what was necessary to take charge of the scene and render assistance,” said CPO1 Janet Graham-Smith, HMCS Regina’s Coxswain. “Their calm professionalism throughout the situation at hand was a reflection of their training as first responders.”

“I am very proud of how they performed as a team under these difficult circumstances and their actions are a credit to HMCS Regina and the Royal Canadian Navy at large,” said Commander Dan Charlebois, Commanding Officer of HMCS Regina. “The Tanzanians watching us on the highway that day will always remember how the Canadians helped a total stranger in his most desperate hour of need.”

HMCS Regina is currently at sea conducting maritime security and counter-terrorism operations off the east coast of Africa as part of Operation ARTEMIS. Operation ARTEMIS is Canada’s contribution to Combined Task Force 150 (CTF 150), a multinational maritime task force combating terrorism across the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Indian Ocean, and the Gulf of Oman.