RCM-SAR’s Rob Duffus writes:
Canada’s west coast is a vast and diverse region with more than 27,000 kilometres of rugged coastline. From the Port of Vancouver in British Columbia’s densely-populated south to the isolated fishing villages in the north, sensitive marine ecology shares space with an ever growing marine industry. With deep sea freighters, ferry systems, fishing fleets and pleasure craft, SAR is an everyday activity. Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue (RCM-SAR) operates 37 stations crewed by just over 1,000 volunteers.
In May 160 crew members from 23 stations came together near Vancouver for a SAR exercise, the largest of three RCM-SAR exercises held regularly on the west coast. These events are an opportunity to standardise training, build relationships, share experiences and learn from peers.
The focus of the two-day program was on-the-water training to ensure safety and proficiency in everyday SAR activities, standardizing training to allow all crew members to work seamlessly together, and putting this into practice in various scenarios. The event also included classroom sessions on leadership skills, critical incident stress, vessel and equipment standardisation and fundraising.
The Canadian Coast Guard and the Royal Canadian Air Force joined the RCM-SAR exercise and demonstrated a Coast Guard hovercraft and RCAF Cormorant rescue helicopter. RCM-SAR values these partnerships with our Canadian and international SAR colleagues. Our members are looking forward to hosting the 2019 IMRF World Maritime Congress and Exhibition in Vancouver.