FOR MARINE EMERGENCIES PLEASE CONTACT JOINT RESCUE COORDINATION CENTRE (JRCC) on VHF Channel 16 or CALL *16 or #727

A Path to Leadership with RCMSAR

James Henry

“The number one reason why I volunteer is public safety; public safety not only for our own people but for all nations of people who travel through and around our waters. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from. If you’re in need of assistance, we will come and help as best we can and best of our abilities.”

– James Henry, Station Leader, Lax Kw’alaams – Station 65

Carol-Ann Kjartanson

“I volunteer for RCMSAR because it is challenging and rewarding. As training officer, I enjoy leading people from a diverse background through exercises that build their skills so they feel confident to go out there and save lives on the water.”

– Carol-Ann Kjartanson, Coxswain, Training Officer, Ladysmith – Station 29

What’s Involved

While many volunteer crew members come from a marine background, this is not a requirement. Thanks to our professional training plans, non-mariners can quickly become highly skilled crew members with time and commitment in a supportive environment that values teamwork.

Your commitment as a RCMSAR volunteer crew member involves:

  • Attending regular training sessions and meetings on evenings and weekends
  • Living or working close to your station’s boat launch
  • Respond to emergencies on short notice

Your Qualifications

Our volunteers must be great communicators, value teamwork and take direction from their leaders. To be a RCMSAR crew member, you must also:

  • Be over 18 years of age
  • Be in good physical condition and able to pass the annual RCMSAR Fitness Test
  • Pass the three month probationary period
  • Pass a Police Information Check, including Vulnerable Sector Check
  • Complete the Pleasure Craft Operators Certificate course
  • Complete the Restricted Operator Certificate – Marine
  • Attain Marine Basic First Aid, equivalent certification, or higher with CPR/AED Level C

In addition to operational volunteers, supporting members are critical to the success of our stations. We also welcome volunteers who have an interest in:

  • Boating safety advocacy
  • Vessel maintenance and equipment management
  • Community fundraising and attending special events
  • Media support

Under 18 years of age? Connect with your local station or contact RCMSAR Headquarters to learn more about RCMSAR’s junior program.

Your Training

Through RCMSAR’s training program, you will learn basic search and rescue skills, first aid and become familiar with safety and emergency procedures. Your Station’s training officers will deliver weekly classroom and on-the-water training where you will develop skills in navigation and communications, seamanship and marine regulations building your knowledge and confidence to save lives on the water.

Depending on your experience and training hours completed, you can expect to progress from a New Crew member to Advance Crew and Coxswain within three to four years.

Training Level Average Training Time
New Crew 2 to 3 months
Crew 12 to 18 months
Advance Crew 12 to 18 months
Coxswain 12 to 24 months

Contact your local RCMSAR station for more information on our marine search and rescue training program.

Once Crew level is attained RCMSAR Headquarters provides additional seamanship training at our Training Centre in East Sooke for volunteers looking to advance to higher crewing or the coxswain level.

Each year, our Training Centre offers an exceptional learning environment for hundreds of our volunteer delivering Transport Canada approved courses focused on advanced boat handling skills and SAR skills, navigation and leadership – often in partnership with the Canadian Coast Guard.

The Training Centre uses in-class, on the water, and simulator training that offers our volunteers the tools needed to be safe on the water and be ready to respond to emergencies when called upon.

On-water training is supported for each station to ensure that rescue crews are prepared and able to save lives on the water.

Where We Are

CENTRAL REGION
Brentwood Bay - Station 31
Comox - Station 60
Deep Bay - Station 59
Salt Spring Island - Station 25
Ladysmith - Station 29
Mill Bay - Station 34
Nanaimo - Station 27
Oak Bay - Station 33
Pender Island - Station 20
Port Alberni - Station 39
Port Alice - Station 43
Sidney - Station 36
Sooke - Station 37
Ucluelet - Station 38
Victoria - Station 35

NORTHERN REGION
Hartley Bay - Station 70
Kitimat - Station 63
Lax Kw’alaams - Station 65
Masset - Station 45
Prince Rupert - Station 64

SOUTHERN REGION
Crescent Beach - Station 5
Delta - Station 8
Gibsons - Station 14
Halfmoon Bay - Station 12
North Vancouver - Station 2
Pender Harbour - Station 61
Richmond - Station 10
Shuswap - Station 106
Squamish - Station 4
West Vancouver - Station 1
Vancouver SAR Prevention - Station 103

Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue is a charitable organization whose volunteers provide marine SAR response 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Our volunteers operate more than 30 marine rescue stations on the British Columbia coast and in the B.C. Interior covering 450,000 square kilometres of internal and offshore waters.

CENTRAL REGION
Brentwood Bay - Station 31
Comox - Station 60
Deep Bay - Station 59
Salt Spring Island - Station 25
Ladysmith - Station 29
Mill Bay - Station 34
Nanaimo - Station 27
Oak Bay - Station 33
Pender Island - Station 20
Port Alberni - Station 39
Port Alice - Station 43
Sidney - Station 36
Sooke - Station 37
Ucluelet - Station 38
Victoria - Station 35

NORTHERN REGION
Hartley Bay - Station 70
Kitimat - Station 63
Lax Kw’alaams - Station 65
Masset - Station 45
Prince Rupert - Station 64

SOUTHERN REGION
Crescent Beach - Station 5
Delta - Station 8
Gibsons - Station 14
Halfmoon Bay - Station 12
North Vancouver - Station 2
Pender Harbour - Station 61
Richmond - Station 10
Shuswap - Station 106
Squamish - Station 4
West Vancouver - Station 1
Vancouver SAR Prevention - Station 103

Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue is a charitable organization whose volunteers provide marine SAR response 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. 

Our volunteers operate more than 30 marine rescue stations on the British Columbia coast and in the B.C. Interior covering 450,000 square kilometres of internal and offshore waters.