The Sunshine Coast’s Land and Marine SAR units recently completed their recruitment drives. Applicants are being vetted and will be commencing months of ongoing training in preparation for the 2018 season. Land SAR received 39 applicants leading to 14 new recruits. The recruits will join in the regular Land SAR members who have been practicing the use of new cell phone GPS technology as well as continued map and compass training.
Selfless volunteers are not the only support dearly needed. Land and Marine SAR units also require financial support to pay for fuel, equipment and everything else needed to get our neighbours out of danger and back to safety. So, we are hosting our annual Beer & Burger fundraising night where you can meet the SAR personnel you so generously support (Nov. 9, Lighthouse Pub, Sechelt, 5-9pm, $25). This is a great opportunity to hear some stories of daring rescues as well as some f-unexpected accidents. Get your tickets today before they are sold out.
Marine SAR Stations 12 at Halfmoon Bay and 61 from Pender Harbour conducted a joint training exercise in the vicinity of Skookumchuck Narrows. The training was a great success for the neighbour stations. Tasks consisted of planning and traversing of safe passage routes through the rapids, pacing (boats touching sides while underway) with three vessels, current and tide analysis.
Station 14 in Gibsons, searched for a missing kayaker. Once on the water, the crew were deployed to the Georgia Beach in Gibsons, where the kayaker was believed to have made landfall. The crew found the novice kayaker safe at Georgia Beach. Meanwhile, his two friends who had reported him missing found themselves stranded, on the Shelter Islets, to wait out the unexpected weather. The crew located the stranded paddlers and their gear that floated away on the rising tide. The kayakers were transported back and reunited with their friend. Though cold, they were otherwise unharmed, and grateful for the assistance.
Remember conditions can change quickly, pick routes that match experience level, check weather and tides. Bring several signaling devices like cell phones, radios, flares, whistles and wear lifejackets when on the water.