Marine Volunteer History


Memorial bench at the Skookumchuck

RCM-SAR is proud to carry on the tradition of volunteer lifeboats on the coast. In 1978, Canadian volunteer marine search and rescue groups created the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary. This coordinated equipment, knowledge, and training on a national scale. The Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary – Pacific was the regional organization in British Colombia.

In 2012, CCGA-P changed its name to Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue. As a result we gained distinction therefore the new name reflects our features and avoids confusion with the Canadian Coast Guard. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth granted permission to use the title “Royal” due to our philanthropic mission and broad geographic coverage.


Sea Dogs
The RCM-SAR 12 “Sea Dogs”

Jon Churchill was the founder of Station 12. He met with the Halfmoon Bay Volunteer Fire Department to ask if they would man a rescue boat supplied by the Canadian Coast Guard.

The first vessel that Station 12 operated was an old rigid hull inflatable. It sported twin 35 HP engines, a towing drum and line, a searchlight, a fire fighting and de-watering pump, a fire extinguisher and two paddles. The volunteer firemen operated the vessel until 1984. As the demand for marine response increased the need to separate from the Fire Department became especially relevant.

Tom Wilson2
Tom Wilson, the lone survivor of the Thormanby Island plane crash joined by Sunshine Coast SAR crew and RCM-SAR 12 reserve members

The first elected Station 12 Leader was Ken Moore in 1984. All training was carried out by Canadian Coast Guard personnel. Gordon Hall was the first CMRA member to go to RHIOT School and Ken Moore was the second.

These days, almost all volunteer training is carried out in house.