February 7, 2015
OTTAWA — A Search and Rescue Technician (SAR Tech) from 435 Transport and Rescue Squadron based at 17 Wing Winnipeg, Sergeant Mark Salesse, is missing after an incident in a training exercise in Banff National Park, Alberta on Thursday, 5 February 2015 at around 6 p.m. Mountain Time.
Sgt Salesse, an experienced SAR Tech was conducting routine mountain training with his team of other SAR Techs in an area known as Polar Circus when he was swept away by an avalanche.
Parks Canada (Banff Visitor Safety Centre) is the lead agency coordinating the search and have Visitor Safety Specialists equipped with dog teams and air support working in the area to locate the missing individual.
Unrelenting snowfall has hampered search efforts along with significant avalanche hazards in the area.
Department of National Defence