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Pilot Honoured By Governor General

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Pilot Honoured By Governor General

Ministry of Natural Resources Pilot Rescued Five People

Mary Ellen Pauli, a helicopter pilot with the Ministry of Natural Resources, is receiving the Governor General of Canada Certificate of Commendation in recognition of her rescue of five people from an island on the Sutton River.

On August 19, 2004, Pauli received an emergency call, from the Ontario Provincial Police,  reporting that a father, grandfather and three children were stranded on an island at the mouth of the Sutton River at Hudson Bay.  The family sent out a distress call on their satellite telephone before losing connection, knowing that the rising tide would eventually cover the low-lying island in more than a metre of water.

Pauli was flying a climate change survey crew around the Moosonee area when she received the emergency call.  She immediately volunteered to attempt a rescue. Flying into heavy winds, rain and sleet, Pauli arrived at the island and rescued the family.

The Aviation and Forest Fire Management Branch of the Ministry of Natural Resources nominated Pauli for the Governor General of Canada Certificate of Commendation.

Quick Facts

  • The Governor General Certification of Commendation was created in 1993 to recognize those who have made a significant contribution by providing assistance to another person in a selfless manner.
  • In 2005-06, the Canadian Decorations Advisory Committee considered 243 nominations and awarded 152 Certificates of Commendation.

Additional Resources


“Mary Ellen deserves this esteemed recognition for her selfless act in helping others. I am proud of ministry staff, like Mary Ellen, who are dedicated to serving Ontarians and helping those in need.”

Donna Cansfield

Minister of Natural Resources



Law and Safety