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We did rescue the entire crew ( Part 2 of 2)

Heroes Remember

We did rescue the entire crew ( Part 2 of 2)

I mean it's the feeling of helplessness, even in that circumstance, when, when you're, you know, kind of, twice, three or four times the length of this room away from another ship. That you know that if they go in, there's not a whole lot you’re going to be able to do. It's a, it's a pretty challenging scenario. And I know that people, not just the air crew in flying but the people who are engaged on the flight deck and getting the helicopter airborne and recovering it . . . very dangerous. We did everything we could in terms of going into the sea and, and all that, but you're still in a, in a horrendous, horrendous situation. And the same, actually . . . the next morning, in launching the Zodiacs at the same time as you're launching helicopters, you, you know, you're breaking a number of rules, but if you’ve got a very professional, skilled crew . . . I mean, if it had have, if, if someone had of got hurt or it hadn't worked, it would've been, it would've been my, my fault, but that's okay. You know, you're totally focussed on, on what you're trying to do. And what we were trying to do the night before, in addition to having the helicopter have a go, although we were pretty sure that it, it wouldn't work.. But it was important to, at least in terms of keeping the crew on the ship, with a sense that there was a presence, and, you know, we'd do everything we could. But what we were actually trying to do, was to float our life rafts down to, so we’d, we’d get upwind, up weather of, of the Ho Ming and launch our own life rafts, which were the kind that inflate. So we inflated a couple and tried to float them down. And in that scenario, what I was trying to do, was to keep the ship in the position, as close as possible, without drifting down onto the, to the ship, to enable the XO, who was on the quarterdeck, to float a life raft over to the Ho Ming, so that they could get into it. And then we would recover the life raft. But the, the wind was so strong, it was kind of hurricane force, that it . . . the rafts just kept blowing away as soon as they were, as soon as they were inflated. So, that's why we used the Zodiacs the next day, because the people had, had survival suits. And, at least, we were, wewere comfortable by morning, or it was just dawn or just, just before dawn. So we used Zodiacs to have some control. But the crews involved in that all got Stars of Courage, because it was still a pretty, pretty challenging scenario.

Mr. Murray describes a very dangerous sea rescue during a hurricane.

Lawrence Edward Murray

Mr. Murray was born in Stratford, Ontario, on June 6, 1947. Strongly influenced by family and friends who had joined the Navy, he entered officer training at HMCS Carleton base in Ottawa. Following that, he began his progression through the rank echelon, starting on the west coast aboard the HMCS Fraser as the Navigation Officer. Once on the east coast, he joined the crew of HMCS Algonquin as her Combat Officer, then became Executive Officer or Second in Command aboard HMCS Athabascan. Mr. Murray then moved to HMCS Iroquois as her Commanding Officer. He then rose to the position of Squadron Commander, 1st Canadian Destroyer Squadron. During his service, the Canadian Navy was actively involved in both NATO / Cold War ( primarily surveillance of Soviet submarines ) and Fisheries Patrol activities. He also led a rescue mission off the Grand Banks, saving the entire crew of a disabled merchant ship during a hurricane. After leaving the Navy, Mr. Murray pursued a career in the Canadian Public service, and is currently the Deputy Minister of Fisheries and Oceans. He resides in Ottawa, Ontario.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Lawrence Edward Murray
War, Conflict or Mission:
Canadian Armed Forces
North Atlantic Ocean
NATO and Fisheries Patrol
HMCS Iroquois
Squadron Commander
2nd Vice Admiral

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