RCMSAR14, in Gibsons, has said farewell to several members over the last few months. These coxswains and advanced crew members have served the station and our community for years, leading our missions, our training, and our organizational readiness. True class acts, they have been great to work with and learn from, and they have contributed greatly to the station. We wish them all well on their next adventure.
Thanks to the work of our great training and recruitment team, they are not leaving the station short. Advanced crew members have trained to become coxswains, new crew are training to be advanced crew, and new volunteers are joining the team and learning the basics. This is the cycle for all the RCMSAR teams. Training is essential to the goals of keeping everyone safe and maintaining our readiness for Joint Rescue Coordination Centre taskings.
Fortunately, we work as a team. I know I can rely on the experience of the rest of my crew. We each have specific roles on the boat: if helm, you drive the boat; in the “nav” seat, you plan the route and instruct the helm; and on “comms”, you make the radio calls and keep the log. Meanwhile, the coxswain leads the team, overseeing everything. We’re all counting on each other and on our training.
Of course, volunteerism is the key to this process. We’re all volunteers interested in helping the community and becoming better mariners. With on-the-boat training opportunities three times a week and in-class training every couple of months, there is much to learn. Add in external courses, such as marine basic first aid, and you really can become a better mariner. Commitment to the team is rewarded with skills and experiences that you keep for life.
You also become part of a social network, one without emojis. There is a diverse group of people in Station 14, and I am sure the other search and rescue teams are the same. We have entrepreneurs, commercial mariners, educators, fire-fighters, ex-military personnel, and others, all sharing in these endeavours and values.
So, if you want to help people in trouble, have time to give, enjoy learning, and want to become part of a great group of like-minded people, contact your local search and rescue team. Whether you join the RCMSAR in Gibsons, Sechelt, or Pender, or the Sunshine Coast Ground Search and Rescue, you won’t regret it.