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Standing at our posts

Many traditions and events usually fill the calendar this time of year. For members of RCMSAR 12, this often means a crew Christmas party, sail-past in Porpoise Bay, the New Year’s Day Polar Swim in Davis Bay, and the Elves’ Club Crash the Coast fundraiser. While some events have been cancelled or moved online, it was such a joy to see our first responders standing at their posts in the beautiful sunshine for Crash the Coast. It looked a little different, but the community spirit and generosity was as strong as ever. Thank you to the members of RCMSAR Stations 12 Halfmoon Bay, 14 Gibsons, and 61 Pender Harbour and the Sunshine Coast Search and Rescue land SAR team for supporting an amazing cause.
While the latest restrictions have paused any in-person training, our crews are still on call 24/7 should you need us in an emergency. We are finding new ways to keep our skills current with online platforms – learning and practicing knots and towing on Zoom is a new challenge for all of us! But the laughter and camaraderie remain the same as we dream of being on the water again training.
The winter months are usually full of on-the-water training, often in the dark, usually in the cold, always challenging our skills and keeping safety as our number one priority. As 2020 has seen people flock to the outdoors like seagulls to French fries, we want to remind our readers to take extra precautions while adventuring by land or sea.
Maintenance and prevention are key to enjoying safe year-round boating and other outdoor recreation pursuits. Take a good inventory and inspection of your safety equipment, critical systems (e.g. batteries, engines, hull integrity, running rigging), and personal gear, especially lifesaving devices like PFDs (personal floatation devices) or avalanche beacons.
Be overprepared for the elements. Pack lots of layers, monitor the weather carefully and plan your trip accordingly. Always file a trip plan with a responsible person. And ask yourself, do you have the right gear and abilities for the activity and the conditions? If not, it’s not too late to send your wish list to Santa or set some goals for 2021! Consider taking courses in first aid, navigation, backcountry safety, or avalanche training. Challenge yourself safely and enjoy the rewards outdoor winter recreation will bring!

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