After nearly one week of providing relief to residents in Great Abaco, an island in the Bahamas ravaged by Hurricane Dorian, Penticton’s fire chief and disaster dog are on their way home.
Chief Larry Watkinson and disaster recovery dog Sammy joined a team of Burnaby firefighters deploying to Great Abaco on Sept. 8. The island, which is part of the Abaco Islands and has a population of nearly 20,000, was one of the many places devastated by the Category 5 hurricane two weeks earlier.
Watkinson and Sammy spent the last several days combing through wreckage to assist in efforts to locate those still missing after the storm hit. At approximately 10 a.m. on Saturday, Watkinson tweeted from the Penticton Fire Department Twitter account that he and Sammy were at the Nassau Airport on New Providence, heading home.
— Penticton Fire Dept. (@pentictonfire) September 14, 2019
While there, the Burnaby team and Watkinson were successful in locating many individuals, including Canadian Dale Hill, in the wreckage. Watkinson has been a member of the rescue team since his time as the fire chief in Mission, before he transferred to Penticton. His last international deployment was with USAR in 2015 to Nepal.
A beautiful moment in a very difficult time searching at #pelicanshore in #abaco with My Best Friend Sammy/disaster dog taking in a peaceful minute in #bahamas. Picture credit @IAFF323 firefighter. pic.twitter.com/Br7vQSzt7t
— Penticton Fire Dept. (@pentictonfire) September 11, 2019
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