Jason Hodge of the Oak Bay Firefighter Charitable Foundation, bottom left, with members of Oak Bay Sea Rescue, clockwise, Justin Stephenson, John Horvatin, Jurgen Pokrandt, Ed Walker (with tongs) and Monica Sager. Oak Bay firefighters will donate proceeds from the June 22 Sausage Fest to Oak Bay Sea Rescue. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

Oak Bay Sausagefest 2019 to buoy Sea Rescue program

Firefighters’ June 22 charity event will support marine responders

For land-based response, Oak Bay relies on its fire department but for marine response, the Oak Bay Sea Rescue team of volunteers are a lifeline for the local boating community.

That’s why the Oak Bay Firefighters Charitable Foundation has chosen to support them with proceeds from this year’s Sausage Fest, taking place on Saturday, June 22, from noon until 9 p.m. at Willows Beach.

“When it comes to marine response Oak Bay Sea Rescue are it, and they’re a volunteer-based organization, so it’s an easy decision for us to support them,” said Jason Hodge, executive director of Oak Bay Firefighters Charitable Foundation.

READ MORE: Sun shines on Sausage Fest in Oak Bay

Technically, Oak Bay Sea Rescue isn’t the only responder in the area but they are the go-to, and it would cost millions to replace the program (the RCMP, Coast Guard, and Oak Bay Fire Department also assist in offshore service). It remains at Oak Bay Marina where it started in 1977 when the late Bob Wright banded together with others, using their own boats, to create a marine rescue service. The marina provided the space at no cost and today the Oak Bay Sea Rescue Society remains a volunteer-run entity that is completely funded by grants and donations.

“It’s expensive to run the program, the boats and engines last about 10 years,” said secretary Cathy Stephenson. “We rely on community donations like Sausage Fest to keep our program going.”

They recently finished fundraising for a new $450,000 rescue boat that won’t be ordered until later this summer and will arrive part way through 2020. They also just finished purchasing a pair of engines for the current boat at $25,000 each.

The team also added a set of dry suits to the inventory this year.

READ ALSO: Firefighters, Kiwanis contribute to Monterey’s new playground climber

Throughout the day all 26 members of the Oak Bay fire hall will station themselves at barbecues to cook at this year’s Sausage Fest. Meat comes from Oak Bay businesses including The Village Butcher, Slater’s Meats, Whole Beast and Red Barn with a vegan option from The Very Good Butcher in the Public Market at the Hudson.

Lighthouse will provide craft beer and cider will also be available. There is a bouncy castle, face painting, and other activities offered.

The Oak Bay Firefighters Charitable Foundation donates to a variety of causes including bursaries for Oak Bay High students and to the B.C. Professional Firefighters Burn Fund. In recent years Sausage Fest has helped fund Monterey middle school’s new playground equipment.

reporter@oakbaynews.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Oak Bay council places 60-day protection order on Island Road house

Developer pulled heritage agreement over ‘exorbitant’ $417,000 fees

Saanich council to dig into long-awaited garden suite study

Detached suites keep families close, provide financial flexibility, mayor says

BIPOC artists come together to paint mural highlighting racial injustice in Bastion Square

‘More Justice, More Peace’ to go beyond cycle of hurt and sadness

Victoria man charged in stabbing death of Vancouver overdose prevention worker

Maximus Roland Hayes, 23, is facing one count of manslaughter in connection to the killing

Firefighters tackle medium-sized grass fire on rural Saanich property

Saanich Fire Department issues warm weather fire safety reminder

VIDEO: Greater Victoria police officers try bhangra dancing with social media star

Gurdeep Pandher leads bhangra lesson on front lawn of the BC Legislature building

Captain Horvat’s OT marker lifts Canucks to 4-3 win over Blues

Vancouver takes 2-0 lead in best-of-7 NHL playoff series with St. Louis

Widow of slain Red Deer doctor thanks community for support ahead of vigil

Fellow doctors, members of the public will gather for a physically-distanced vigil in central Alberta

Taking dog feces and a jackhammer to neighbourhood dispute costs B.C. man $16,000

‘Pellegrin’s actions were motivated by malice …a vindictive, pointless, dangerous and unlawful act’

Racist stickers at Keremeos pub leaves group uneasy and angry

The ‘OK’ hand gesture is a known hate-symbol

VIDEO: World responds to B.C. girl after pandemic cancels birthday party

Dozens of cards and numerous packages were delivered to six-year-old Charlie Manning

Expected fall peak of COVID-19 in Canada could overwhelm health systems: Tam

National modelling projections released Friday show an expected peak in cases this fall

Hundreds of sea lions to be killed on Columbia River in effort to save endangered fish

Nearly 22,000 comments received during public review were opposed, fewer than 200 were for

Most Read