The new theme for this week is signs, and whereas today marks the tragedy of the Cougar Flight 491 crash, I thought the new memorial should be my post for today.
I was meeting with MP Judy Foote in her office in Ottawa when we were interrupted by her assistant who informed us of the crash. Several victims were from her riding and our meeting was over. It's hard to believe that 6 years have passed since the most recent tragedy in a long line of accidents at sea. And while a harsh reality of an economy based on the ocean is the danger that goes along with it, we must do everything we can to mitigate the damage of accidents like this. This includes heavily regulated safety procedures, proper training and equipment, and holding companies accountable.
A man showed up to pay respects as I was taking pictures. He took off his hat, approached the monument, laid a bouquet of roses, and then proceeded to read the names engraved on the monument. The monument itself is a stainless steel model of Da Vinci's drawings of a flying machine, commonly called a helical air screw, that shines a beam of light into the sky at night.
The sole survivor of the crash was Robert Decker. The names of the 17 victims are:
Matthew Davis, 34, St. John's (pilot) | John Pelley, 41, Deer Lake | Corey Eddy, 32, Paradise | Tim Lanouette, 48, Comox, BC | Thomas Anwyll, 46, Langley, BC | Peter Breen, 55, St. John's | Gary Corbett, 46, Conception Bay South | Wade Drake, 42, Fortune | Wade Duggan, 32, Witless Bay | Colin Henley, 38, St. John's | Ken MacRae, 47, Greenwood, NS | Derrick Mullowny, 51, Bay Bulls | Burch Nash, 44, Fortune | Paul Pike, 49, Shearstown | Allison Maher, 26, Aquaforte | Keith Escott, St. John's | Gregory Morris, Outer Cove