Station #39 – Port Alberni
RCMSAR 39 is located in Port Alberni at the head of the Alberni Inlet, approximately 65 km from the Pacific Ocean. Our typical response area extends from Port Alberni, south past China Creek Marina, towards Chubb Point. There have also been taskings into the Broken Islands Group as well as the Bamfield area.
Port Alberni has a diverse waterfront community consisting of a deep sea port, four marinas, waterfront quays, kayaking companies, water sports venues and various other tourism related adventure groups.
Station 39 was formed in 1982 by a group of concerned boaters who utilized their own vessels to provide assistance to the boating community of the Alberni Inlet. In 1991, the Port Alberni Marine Rescue Society was formed and Station 39 acquired its first dedicated response vessel – an 18 foot rigid hull inflatable (RHI) vessel was loaned to the unit by the Canadian Coast Guard. Subsequently, in 1995, Station 39 purchased its first vessel – a Zodiac 630 rigid hull inflatable. This vessel was eventually replaced by a Zodiac Hurricane 733, a popular fast response vessel that was a familiar sight throughout the Alberni Inlet until 2010. With a desire to continue to improve our capabilities while providing enhanced safety for our volunteers, and with assistance from the community, Station 39 was able to acquire its present vessel, a Falkins Class, Type II, RHI in 2011. RCM SAR 39 (Alberni Responder) is equipped with the latest communication and navigational equipment enabling its crew to operate in extreme conditions. RCMSAR Station 39 is available to respond to marine emergencies or to provide medical evacuation situations 365 days a year and to do so we incorporate regular training sessions with our station activities. The vessel is presently moored at the Clutesi Haven Marina, however, discussions are under way for the construction of a boat house Our training partners include the Port Alberni Port Authority, the Port Alberni Fire Department, Canadian Coast Guard, and the Alberni Valley Ground SAR Program (AVSAR).
As a venue to give back to the community, Station 39 and its 24 members are extremely involved in community events such as the Marine Discovery Centre’s Heritage Days, the Port Alberni Salmon Festival, the Lions Bull Head Children’s Fishing Derby, various First nations Tribal Journeys, the Puddle Duck regatta and the annual Polar Bear swim.