Major exercise on the go this weekend
Comox residents will see increased vessel activity in Baynes Sound this weekend as Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue conducts a search and rescue exercise for its central and northern Vancouver Island rescue stations.
The two-day gathering will include a large rescue scenario on Saturday in Comox Harbour. The exercise will take place on the water and on shore. Crew members from six RCM-SAR stations will be participating, along with the Canadian Coast Guard lifeboat from Powell River. The exercise will be an opportunity for the crews to practice their search and rescue response and work with colleagues from other stations and partner agencies.
In addition to the on-water and shore-based exercises, crews will gather at HMCS Quadra for training in navigation, chart work, first aid, search and rescue techniques, and training on RCM-SAR’s new waterjet-powered rescue vessels. They will also hear a presentation by Comox-based 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron of the Royal Canadian Air Force.
“All our crews are volunteers, and they are generously giving their time this weekend to hone their skills so that they can provide even better service to the public,” said RCM-SAR Director of Training and Operations Cheryl Caldwell. “These exercises are a great chance to practice our skills, find ways to improve our emergency response, and promote cooperation with our partners on the water.”
RCM-SAR crews from Comox, Port Alice, Deep Bay, Nanaimo, Ucluelet, and Port Alberni will be taking part. RCM-SAR has more than 40 rescue stations on the British Columbia coast and in the interior. More than 1,000 RCM-SAR volunteer crews handle an average of more than 800 marine emergencies each year.