Organization Spotlight: Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue

RCMSARAt DP World Canada, we are dedicated to improving the lives of those who live and work in the Vancouver, Prince Rupert, and Nanaimo communities. Through our Community Kinship campaign, we raise awareness of and support for wonderful non-profit organizations focused on the same objective. One such organization is the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue.

About RCMSAR 64 – Prince Rupert

Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue (Station 64 – Prince Rupert) began in 1978, and at the time, was known as the Rescue 15 (15 was the number to dial for land or marine rescue before 911). This volunteer-based group is one of the 33 marine rescue stations on the British Columbia coast and interior.

RCMSAR’s mission is simple: “To save lives on the water.” From Vancouver’s busy harbour to the remote waters of the North Coast, volunteer crews are on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

The Mission

With just two vessels (the Hurricane Zodiac 733 and the Type II Falkins all-weather lifeboat), RCMSAR Station 64 in Prince Rupert secures an area of approximately 1800 Nautical square miles—from the northern border of Alaska down to Gitga’at (Hartley bay) and across to Haida Gwaii Islands. Its territory also encompasses the Hecate Strait—one of the most dangerous and challenging maritime regions in the world. Volunteers respond to all types of distress situations on these waters; ranging from tows, to medical and fire emergencies.

On average, RCMSAR on the Pacific Coast responds to 800 marine rescues every year. Much like EMS dispatches paramedics; when an emergency occurs, Joint Rescue Coordination Centre contacts one of the RCMSAR stations where volunteers are prepared to respond no matter the weather conditions or how rough the seas may be.

Community Impacts

Built on the values of safety, volunteerism, professionalism, community, and trust, RCMSAR’s mission is to provide excellence in community based marine safety. Nicknamed the “charity that saves lives on water,” RCMSAR is not only a search and rescue service, but also serves a key role in educating the public about safety in the water—in particular, safety in oceans.

It knows the value of accident prevention and accordingly provides free safety checks for small craft operators and free loaner lifejackets for kids through the “Kids Don’t Float” programme. RCMSAR can even help boaters plan voyages with safety in mind through its specially designed Safe Boating App.

How Your Business Can Help

The dedicated team of rescue crew members is comprised of volunteers from all walks of life. Full training is provided, and all volunteers must obtain a few certificates and meet general requirements before becoming a crew member. Basic training takes about one year to complete and is an incredible opportunity for personal growth as well as team development.

If performing actual rescues on the water doesn’t seem like the right fit, there are plenty of other volunteer opportunities on land. Volunteers are needed to work special events and fundraisers throughout the year—the most noteworthy being SeaFest and WinterFest along with the Polar Bear Plunge.

Because the organization is funded entirely by charitable giving, RCMSAR graciously accepts monetary contributions, which it relies heavily on for its operations. It also accepts donations of search and rescue gear. Your company’s donation will help keep the dedicated volunteers safe through better training, safer rescue boats, and proper equipment.

For more information on how to get your team involved by donating or volunteering in any capacity, click here to visit the RCMSAR website.

And to stay connected and hear more about upcoming events, connect with RCMSAR on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.