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Oak Bay Sea Rescue seeks volunteers to save lives

Marine rescue team takes on new vessel, needs more crew
Oak Bay Sea Rescue trains in the waters off Queens’ park. The local Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue organization hosts an open house Aug. 29 in search of volunteers. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)

The Oak Bay Sea Rescue Society hosts an open house with recruitment in mind later this month.

The society supports Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue Station 33, based at the Oak Bay Marina, and the team needs six new crew members to help save lives, said society president Brock Smith.

“With a new search and rescue vessel just launched and increasing marine activity, we need to ramp up our ability to respond to emergencies next spring and summer,” Smith said.

READ ALSO: Oak Bay search and rescue volunteers ready to launch new life-saving vessel

New crew training weekends occur once or twice a year while ongoing training, in the classroom and on the water, means a commitment of five to 10 hours each month.

Crew learn marine-based skills, including vessel operation, navigation, communication, rescue tactics, and first aid, explained station leader Jenny Weston.

New members do not need boating experience, though marine-based knowledge is welcome. Once members can demonstrate a set of standard safety skills, they become operational and are assigned to a crew that will respond to marine emergencies – tasked by the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre. Some members prefer to be on-call during the days, and others choose nights and weekends. Training is continuous for all members, and includes full-station events, as well as training with other local response agencies, such as the coast guard and local fire departments.

READ ALSO: SAR team ponies up sweat equity to remove invasives from Oak Bay island

RCMSAR Station 33 responds to marine emergencies in Oak Bay and Saanich when additional resources are required. The team recently acquired a new vessel

“This means Station 33 can respond faster, farther, and handle more types of emergencies in worse weather than we could before,” Weston said.

Station 33 hosts its open house Monday, Aug. 29 from 5 to 7.30 p.m. at the boathouse at Oak Bay Marina. Visit to learn more or donate to the cause.

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Christine van Reeuwyk

About the Author: Christine van Reeuwyk

I'm dedicated to serving the community of Oak Bay as a senior journalist with the Greater Victoria news team.
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