Penticton Fire Chief Larry Watkinson and his disaster dog Sammy take a short break from searching for survivors at Pelican Shore on Great Abaco Island on Sept. 11 after it was decimated by Hurricane Dorian two weeks earlier. (Photo by Burnaby Fire Department)

Penticton Fire Chief Larry Watkinson and his disaster dog Sammy take a short break from searching for survivors at Pelican Shore on Great Abaco Island on Sept. 11 after it was decimated by Hurricane Dorian two weeks earlier. (Photo by Burnaby Fire Department)

Coming Home: Penticton fire chief and disaster dog return from hurricane-ravaged Bahamas

The pair spent roughly one week on Great Abaco Island assisting in relief efforts

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.

READ MORE: Penticton fire chief and dog Sammy head to Bahamas in wake of Hurricane Dorian

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.

READ MORE: ‘Tragic scene’: Penticton fire chief, dog Sammy scour Hurricane Dorian wreckage in Bahamas

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.

READ MORE: Penticton fire chief, disaster dog working in ‘extreme conditions’ in Bahamas

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.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.

Jordyn Thomson | Reporter
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