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

Penticton fire chief Larry Watkinson and his disaster dog Sammy in the Bahamas. (Photo courtesy of Penticton Fire)
Penticton Fire Department disaster dog taking a break in a bit of shade while working in the Bahamas with fire chief Larry Watkinson. (Photo courtesy of Penticton Fire)
Firefighters from Burnaby, along with Penticton Fire Chief Larry Watkinson and several disaster dogs, are in the Bahamas. (Photo courtesy of Penticton Fire)
Penticton fire chief Larry Watkinson and his disaster dog Sammy with the devastation left in the wake of Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas behind them. (Photo courtesy of Penticton Fire)
A beautiful moment in a very difficult time as Penticton fire chief Larry Watkinson and his best friend/disaster dog Sammy are searching at Pelican Shore in Abaco, Bahamas. (Photo courtesy of ⁦@IAFF323/Twitter)
Penticton Fire Department disaster dog among some of the rubble left behind from Hurrican Dorian in the Bahamas. (Photo courtesy of Penticton Fire)

Penticton Fire Chief Larry Watkinson said the group of firefighters he is working with on the Urban Search and Rescue team in the Bahamas in the wake of hurricane Dorian had a “complex and successful day” on Wednesday.

Watkinson, along with his disaster dog Sammy, joined a group of Burnaby firefighters Urban Search and Rescue team to help out after the country was devastated by the Category 5 hurricane that swept through the area last week.

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

On Wednesday, Watkinson said via a social media post that the team was working in Marsh Harbour of Abaco Islands, in the northern part of the Bahamas.

“Sadly this shanty town has been devastated by Dorian. Penticton Fire disaster dog Sam is really showing his talent in the most extreme conditions,” he wrote.

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

British Special Forces met the Urban Search and Rescue team to take them to a secure spot and then to the Emergency Operations Centre.

The team have received support in the form of free travel medical insurance from Pacific Blue Cross, who stated in a social media post that they “are inspired by their heroism and humanitarism.”

READ MORE: Man fundraising to bring Bahamian victims of Hurricane Dorian to Kelowna

According to a social media post by the Burnaby Fire Department the volunteer group located a Canadian, Dale Hill, that had been listed as missing, safe and sound as they work through the area they have been assigned to.

Thousands have been reported as missing on DorianPeopleSearch.com, a website where loved ones can enter names of individuals who remain unaccounted for. Aerial footage over the islands shows monumentous wreckage.

Watkinson has been a member of the rescue team since his time as the fire chief in Mission, before he transferred to the Penticton Fire Department. His last international deployment with USAR was in 2015 to Nepal.

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


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