Search & Rescue Dispatches Sept 2017

Search and Rescue

The all-volunteer crews of both Sunshine Coast Search and Rescue teams
(Land and Marine) have had a busy summer with taskings and continuous training exercises. A few close calls remind us of how quickly boaters and hikers can get into trouble and life-risking situations. We understand accidents happen; that’s why we remain on call 24/7/365.

Summer Summary

In July, Sunshine Coast Search and Rescue used the long line rescue technique and a helicopter to extract a seriously injured subject off Richardson Lake Road. (see photo)  RCMSAR Station 61 in Pender Harbour was tasked during the Malaspina Regatta, when one of the participants was dismasted.  The Iona C, which had earlier set the marks for the race and was on the course, was quickly alongside, and took the vessel under tow back into Pender Harbour.

In mid-August, a vessel reported hitting a rock and was taking on water in Green Bay, in Agamemnon Channel.  Coxswain Tommy Monnier and crew on board fired up the dewatering pump and then called Madeira Marine to have the affected vessel hauled the same day.  Station 12 rescued a sailing vessel in Buccaneer Bay in 5’ swells, falling tide with an anchor challenge;  a week later Station 61 was tasked to recover the same boaters’ dinghy in the Malaspina. They were quite grateful to RCMSAR having had 2 encounters with Sunshine Coast stations in the same week.

Best intentions evaporate quickly in the absence of planning and having the right safety equipment in hand or on one’s body.  According to the Lifesaving Society, drowning is the third leading cause of unintentional death for Canadians under the age of 60. Most deaths caused by drowning are preventable, by taking certain precautionary steps during watersports activities.

First and foremost, a PFD should always be worn (not stored) when boating. (

  • About one-third of all water-related deaths occurred while boating.
  • Not wearing a lifejacket or personal flotation device is the number one cause of recreational boating deaths in Canada
  • The majority of fatal accidents are caused by capsizing, collision or falling overboard.
  • About 40% of drowning fatalities from recreational boating in Canada are alcohol related

An Open House and Fall Recruiting Drive is planned for Monday, September 18th for all three RCMSAR Stations (Gibsons, Halfmoon Bay and Pender Harbour) at the Seaside Centre in Sechelt from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.  Both Society (administrative and fundraising) and Crew (on water) volunteers are needed.
Please join us!

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