That Others May Live
The Start of CASARA
The first Civil Air Search and Rescue Association (CASARA) Zone to receive military SAR training was in Cochrane, ON. The 424 Transport and Rescue Squadron, with CASARA Ontario Director, Mike Daniels (who Dave flew for as a flight instructor at Welland in the mid-70’s) that was used for getting the CASARA program up and running.
Today CASARA still works in partnership with the Royal Canadian Air Force. Each Province and Territory is a Member Organization Unit (MO) and under each MO are many zones. The majority of MOs/Zones sourced the use of volunteer owned aircraft for searches.
Throughout the years, CASARA has provided over 160,000 volunteer hours from our 2000+ members since 1986 to search for missing aircraft, hunters or boaters.
In recent years, CASARA has been asked by RCAF to include Humanitarian taskings and trial the use of drones to search for missing persons. CASARA’s volunteers’ sacrifices have been recognized in several Provinces and continue to be recognized by parliament.
CASARA continues to assist with Search and Rescue events throughout the vast regions of Canada.
The members of CASARA train with the military in a SAREX, which brings together military Search and Rescue (SAR) units from across Canada in a challenging setting to test participants in their search and rescue / medical skills, parachute accuracy skills and to engage in team spirit. National and provincial agencies such as the Civil Air Search and Rescue Association (CASARA), Sauvetage et recherche aériens du Québec (SEREBEC), and the Canadian Coast Guard routinely participate in a military National SAREX.
In 1991, CASARA was presented the prestigious Mynarski Trophy by the Royal Canadian Air Force Association. This trophy is Canada’s highest award for excellence in the field of search and rescue. This was the first time the trophy was awarded to a nationwide organization. The award is named after famed Winnipeg Air Gunner (AG) Andrew Charles Mynarski who died in WW11 while attempting to save a fellow crew member trapped inside a fiery Lancaster bomber during a bombing run over Germany.