01 October 2012

Mine rescue team competes at international event

Congratulations to our Diavik mine rescue team on their performance at the 8th International Mine Rescue Competition held in Donetsk, Ukraine on September 12 and 13. 

Our team, including Captain Kelsey Loessl, Vice-Captain Nathan Pitre, Brent Karstad, James Venera, Brad Rogers, Andrew Furlong, Coach John Arnold, and Coordinator Alex Clinton was among 26 teams from 13 countries to participate. The international competition includes emergency medical care, apparatus technician, engineering analysis, and performance of rescue action events.  

In the rescue event, our Diavik team finished in third place with teams from Australia and the Ukraine taking first and second respectively.

"The rescue event is the competition's most significant and most challenging event, so coming third is a huge achievement and speaks to the skill level of our team," said Diavik Health and Safety Superintendent Mike Lowing.

The rescue event involves a team entering a simulated coal mine and exploring, changing ventilation, controlling a fire, documenting the state of the mine, and rescuing an injured miner. "It was a complex practical scenario with five judges who only spoke Russian. With the assistance of a translator, information was communicated between the judges and the teams," Lowing added. "This was our first time competing at the international level and every team member trained hard to prepare. What we learn from competing we bring back home and apply to our site to make it even safer."

The chief judge described our team as professional and requested a team-signed Diavik hard hat for the State Militarized Mine Rescue Museum in Donetsk, added Lowing.

The Diavik mine rescue team is drawn from the Diavik emergency response team which includes over 60 volunteers from across minesite departments.

The Diavik Diamond Mine, located 300 km. northeast of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories and a five-time John T. Ryan safety award winner, is an unincorporated joint venture between Diavik Diamond Mines Inc. (60%) and Harry Winston Diamond Limited Partnership (40%). Both companies are headquartered in Yellowknife, Canada. DDMI is a wholly owned subsidiary of Rio Tinto plc of London, England, and Harry Winston Diamond Limited Partnership is wholly owned by Harry Winston Diamond Corporation of Toronto, Canada. For further information contact Doug Ashbury, Advisor Communications at Tel:  (867) 669-6500, or visit diavik.ca.

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