Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue's area of operation includes more than 29,500 square kilometers of coastline, 6,500 islands, and approximately 450,000 square kilometers of internal and offshore waters.
We are a SAR resource which is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If necessary, our volunteers are willing and ready to risk their lives to help anyone in distress on the water.
An important aspect of the mission of RCM-SAR is to promote boating safety. A determining factor in the prevention of search and rescue incidents is effective boater education.
All boat operators of pleasure crafts fitted with a motor and used for recreational purposes in Canada must have the Card.
An important aspect of RCM-SAR's mission to save lives on the water is to promote boating safety. A determining factor in the prevention of search and rescue incidents is effective boater education.
Knowledgeable boaters are safe boaters and safe boaters are generally less likely to be involved in search and rescue incidents. RCM-SAR has developed a variety of programs to convey the Boating Safety message to this broad range of recreational users.
Hopefully, you will never require the marine search and rescue services provided by our 1,000 highly trained volunteers. But simply by living in or near British Columbia's coastal communities means that the chances are quite likely you will take a trip on or over water.
Perhaps you travel by ferry, seaplane or cruise ship. Perhaps your workplace involves marine shipping and transport. Perhaps you or a family member is involved with one of the many marine related industries in B.C. such as fishing, tourism or sea transport. All of these industries and travel sectors are vulnerable to the unpredictable nature of the sea.
There are 46 stations currently with more coming online soon. These community-based stations are crewed by extremely dedicated and highly trained volunteers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
View RCM-SAR Station locations and details
Station One (West Vancouver) began operations in 1987, with a vessel supplied and equipped by the North Shore Lifeboat Society. Station 1 has 33 qualified Coxswains and crew and provides Search & Rescue operations, as directed by the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Victoria, covering the waters of Howe Sound and English Bay up to the Lion’s Gate Bridge. Along with our sister unit (Station 2) based in Deep Cove, we respond to most “on-water” incidents in the local area, as well as provide vital responder support to emergencies on the local islands. Together both units carry out around 100 missions in a year as well 30 special events and save or assist 120 people annually.
From May 2012 crews began operating the new Falkins class lifeboat. This vessel is fully enclosed, completely self-righting and with a speed of up to 40 knots has extended our ability to respond quickly, with increased crew safety and in most sea states, to marine emergencies in our local waters.
Station 1’s new operations base is situated on the Government Dock in Horseshoe Bay. This is a prominent position in our community and serves to remind all boaters (and nearby BC Ferry users) that we stand ready to provide 24-hour lifeboat support to anyone in distress or whose life is in danger on or near the water.