02/19/2013 16:33 EST | Updated 04/21/2013 05:12 EDT

No codes broken during military's helicopter fishing trip

An internal military investigation triggered by a picture posted on Facebook last summer of a fishing expedition has concluded that the Department of National Defence did nothing wrong.

The image shows five search and rescue technicians, with a Griffon helicopter at rest, next to No Name Lake in Labrador. The group appears to be fishing.

DND first said it was part of 444 Combat Support Squadron's survival training. Defence Minister Peter MacKay defended the trip, but said fishing was not the point of the mission.

But now, the military's own investigation concluded that it wasn't survival training, but a maintenance exercise to remove brush from a landing pad on the lake.

Major Greg Poehlmann, a public affairs officer with the Canadian Forces Provost Marshall, said there was no evidence of criminal or military codes being broken.

"The crew that went there, to clear the landing pad area, after they finished their work, there was some time on location to enjoy some fishing," he said.

Trip initially called 'familiarization flight'

DND had previously told CBC News in a written statement that the helicopter was 444 Squadron at CFB 5 Wing Goose Bay.

An official said the June 8, 2012 trip was a "familiarization/readiness flight" on a CH-146 Griffon helicopter.

The trip was approved by the squadron's commanding officer to recognize the effort of the ground crews in completing essential maintenance and detailed inspection of one of the aircraft that was returning to Goose Bay from a deployment in Jamaica.

Five months earlier, the same squadron had mechanical problems in the failed rescue of 14-year-old snowmobiler Burton Winters.