December 15, 2017 Saving Lives on the Water!

Station #106 – Shuswap

Station 106 Shuswap provides marine rescue services for the Shuswap and Mara Lake systems which has approximately 1000 miles of shoreline. Our station is the first inland water station within RCMSAR and has proven itself as a vital service to the locals and tourist industry. Based out of Sicamous, we are tasked by the 911 emergency system and the Shuswap Emergency Program (SEP) which is part of the Provincial Emergency Program (PEP) and have responded to everything from missing/overdue boats to vessel crashes to injuries. The majority of our calls occur between the May long weekend and the September long weekend. During that time the Shuswap and Mara Lakes enjoy the addition of approximately 200,000 tourists making it essential for professional marine rescue services.

Our rescue vessel is a deep hull 29 foot 1976 Lifetimer converted crew boat. It is outfitted with radar and chart plotters to allow 24/7 all-weather responses, communications equipment, search, rescue and recovery capabilities and is set up similar to an ambulance that allows first aid on the scene and care for casualties enroute to local ambulances and hospitals . We work closely with the BCAS who, on a regular basis, are on board during a medical response.  It is powered by a 2002 Volvo Penta Diesel engine with 310 HP and has a cruise speed of 28 Knots. Our crews are highly trained, respond 24/7/365, and work closely with other land based search and rescue units, RCMP and other agencies. As with other RCMSAR units, all of our members are volunteers.

Our operations and local training are supported financially through donations from local houseboat companies, a local marina for moorage, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District, The District of Sicamous and private donations. The BC gaming organization supports us by providing grants for new equipment purchases. Formal training is provided by RCMSAR. We participate in various community events on the Shuswap such as the annual fireworks display off shore of Sicamous, local boat shows, canoe outrigger races, “Show and Tell” displays at various marinas throughout the Shuswap and First Responder displays. Our Station is also just starting to get set up to provide “Boating Safety” displays for school grades 1-3 utilizing “Bobby the Safety Boat” which is a remote operated wheeled boat that interacts with the kids in their classroom teaching them boating and water safety. We rely on volunteers to enable us to respond to marine emergencies and are always looking for new members that can respond within 30 minutes. If you are that person and meet our minimum requirements please feel free to contact us. Those outside of our response time can still participate by training as Vessel Safety Check inspectors and in the Bobby the Safety Boat program.

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