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“Exercise Waking Giant” On Lake Superior

By Adam Riley Sep 26, 2022 | 8:00 PM

A RHIB (Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat) makes some waves on Lake Superior just past the breakwall in Thunder Bay on September 24 2022

Residents in Thunder Bay this past weekend likely got to see a Royal Canadian Navy exercise play out on Thunder Bay’s waterfront with HMCS Griffon playing host to over 150 Navy personnel from across Ontario and parts of Manitoba for “Exercise Waking Giant”.

Friday began with a bit of an airshow with a low flying C-130 Hercules deploying Search and Rescue Technicians by parachute. Some gusts of wind caused a few issues but the technicians landed safely on the ground or in the water as they are trained to do.

On Saturday a water ceremony preceded activities before training commenced in the Thunder Bay harbour. That training allowed boaters and visitors to the waterfront to see multiple activities including boarding a moving vessel, diving, and rescuing stranded boaters. One aspect of “Exercise Waking Giant” even saw former ice breaker turned museum ship, the Alexander Henry, called into action with boarding parties climbing a rope ladder to assess a mass casualty incident.

There were about six boat crews participating in an “Amazing Race” style event according to Master Sailor Adam Beverly, which prepares them for operations they may be called upon to do domestically. He notes the city is an ideal location for training. “We have one of the best operating areas in Ontario…you can be working with so many different agencies.”

For the divers, Beverly says they must become re qualified and there are several ideal and unique dive locations within a short distance of HMCS Griffon’s boathouse North of Prince Arthur’s Landing.

At the same time the view only enhances the exercise further, with both the Sleeping Giant and the surrounding mountains.


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