Honorary Colonel Colin MacDonald is all too aware of the role of search and rescue services in Atlantic Canada, the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) has reported. MacDonald, who is chairman of Clearwater Seafoods and co-owner and director of Clearwater Fine Foods was appointed honorary colonel of 14 Wing Greenwood’s 413 Transport and Rescue Squadron on 12 July.
“We have a fleet out there, and I’m putting these people at risk,” MacDonald said. “They’re out 15 to 40 days; it’s hard, in any weather. When one of them is injured or has a medical incident, knowing we have 413 to rely on is crucial.”
A couple of years ago, one of MacDonald’s staff suggested the company do something to thank the SAR crews, noted the RCAF. “We sent up a bunch of lobster to say thank you,” the Honorary Colonel says. “What they do is very special; they’re dedicated and work hard.”
MacDonald’s appointment has been in the works for a number of months, said the RCAF, enough time so that he has already been able to attend a number of squadron functions as a guest. He’s attended a couple of Mess dinners, and also had the chance to visit the 413 Squadron-hosted national search and rescue exercise held last autumn in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. “That was a very good opportunity to watch,” he says. “I don’t know if I’d want to jump!”
Squadron Commanding Officer Lt-Col James Marshall welcomed MacDonald into the fold, saying: “Thank you for your support of the SAR community over the years, and we know you look forward to meeting the men and women of 413 Squadron.”
14 Wing Greenwood Commander Col Pat Thauberger also welcomed him, recognising his long-time business development initiatives, but also MacDonald’s active philanthropic service. “I congratulate you on your selection and appointment,” Thauberger said. “Obviously, your ties to 413 and the maritime rescue community are well-established, and it’s an honour and privilege to have you join us.”