Sgt. Janick Gilbert dies during rescue mission in Canada

Sgt. Janick Gilbert of Canadian Forces Base Trenton in Ontario passed away Thursday performing a rescue mission in the North. Gilbert was a technician who was performing his duty near Igloolik, Nunavut, near Baffin Island, the Department of National Defence said Friday.

Lt.-Gen. Andre Deschamps, commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force said: “On behalf of the Defence family and our brave men and women in uniform, I extend my deepest sympathies to the family, friends and comrades of Sgt. Janick Gilbert, who died yesterday in Nunavut. He lost his life in the service of his country while unselfishly answering the call for help.”

On Friday, Prime Minister Stephen Harper also offered his condolences to Gilbert’s loved ones.

PM Harper said: “Canada’s landscape is one of the most challenging in the world in which to conduct search-and-rescue operations, and the area in which search-and-rescue professionals work is the largest in the world — it extends over 15 million square kilometres of land and sea and encompasses the world’s longest coastline.

“The Canadian Armed Forces’ search-and-rescue technicians are some of the best trained in the world, and have saved thousands of lives nationwide.

“Sgt. Gilbert was an extremely brave Canadian who made the ultimate sacrifice while proudly serving his country.”

Gov. Gen. David Johnston said: “The operation itself resulted in the rescue of two local citizens. (Gilbert) has demonstrated tremendous courage in circumstances of great peril. His sacrifice will not be in vain; we will be forever grateful to him.”

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