FOR MARINE EMERGENCIES PLEASE CONTACT JOINT RESCUE COORDINATION CENTRE (JRCC) on VHF Channel 16 or CALL *16 or #727
For release on September 17, 2022 – The annual RCMSAR Volunteer Awards takes place Saturday honouring the outstanding service of the organization’s volunteers and stations as recognized by their peers, the organization’s Board of Directors and the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre.

For the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue (RCMSAR), the last year can be described as extremely challenging yet hugely rewarding. In 2021, more than 900 RCMSAR volunteers performed over 3,600 training exercises to conduct 515 search and rescue missions safely. The support and generosity of our partners and donors helped our volunteers selflessly dedicate over 57,000 collective hours in pursuit of saving and assisting 455 lives on the water.

“Each year, thousands of volunteer hours are directed towards the shared goal of saving lives on the water, protecting the communities we serve and putting the safety of others ahead of personal safety” says Bill Riggs, RCMSAR’s Chief Executive Officer. “The spirit of volunteerism is an intrinsic part of RCMSAR’s culture. It’s who we are and why we save lives.”

To RCMSAR, it is important that the achievements of our colleagues and crewmates are celebrated. This year the organization proudly recognizes the following RCMSAR volunteers for their countless hours of outstanding service:

Volunteer of the Year

    • Calum Davidson – Station 4 Squamish

Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary (CCGA) Administrative Excellence Medal

    • John Metzger – Station 25 Salt Spring Island
    • Mike Murphy – Station 25 Salt Spring Island
    • Tim Slaney – Station 25 Salt Spring Island
    • Sheryl Eaton – Station 59 Deep Bay
    • Hugh Jackson – Station 59 Deep Bay
    • Larry Highcock – Station 59 Deep Bay
    • Kevin Cattell – Station 2 North Vancouver

CCGA Exemplary Service Medal

    • Gordie Robinson – Station 34 – Cowichan Bay
    • Shawn Burchett – Station 2 North Vancouver

CCGA Humanitarian Services Medal 2022

    • Amber Sheasgreen – RCMSAR 37 Sooke, RCMSAR 64 Prince Rupert and RCMSAR HQ

CCGA Leadership Medal

    • Ian Arklie – Station 39 Port Alberni
    • Kim Bentzon – Station 33 Oak Bay
    • Graham Smart – Station 60 Comox
    • David Cassidy – Station 25 Salt Spring Island
    • Andrew Ross Collins – Station 25 Salt Spring Island
    • Paul FitzZaland – Station 25 Salt Spring Island
    • Gerard McKenzie – Station 1 West Vancouver
    • Hans Verbeek – Station 8 Delta

CCGA Long Service Awards

35 Years of Service

    • Bruce Falkins – Station 1 West Vancouver

30 Years of Service

    • Garry Brown – Station 60 Comox
    • Derek Harris – Station 60 Comox
    • Jerry Hunter – Station 33 Oak Bay
    • Hugh Kelsey – Station 1 West Vancouver

25 Years of Service

    • Kim Bentzon – Station 33 Oak Bay
    • Simon Gatrell – Station 35 Victoria
    • John Simpson – Station 8 Delta

CCGA Operational Merit Medal

    • Station 29 Ladysmith: John Oakes, Sue Wisely, Ross Hayes, Phillip Kelsey

RCMSAR CEO Commendation

    • Ross Davis (Awarded in 2021) – Station 29 Ladysmith
    • Sue Wisely (Awarded in 2021) – Station 29 Ladysmith
    • David Croal – Station 14 Gibsons
    • Barrie Anderson – Station 59 Deep Bay
    • Paul Murray – Station 31 Brentwood Bay
    • Simon Pearce – Station 10 Richmond
    • Ian Wright – Station 61 Pender Harbour

RCMSAR Life Membership

    • Ken Morisette (Awarded in 2021) – Station 25 Salt Spring Island
    • Brian Cromp – Station 29 Ladysmith
    • Hugh Kelsey – Station 1 West Vancouver
    • Randy Strandt – Station 2 North Vancouver

RCMSAR New Member Award

    • Peter Miles-MacKay – Station 1 West Vancouver
    • Dale Skoreyko – Station 59 Deep Bay

Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC) Top Missions

    • Station 70 Hartley Bay: Coghlan Anchorage Vessel on Fire, July 11, 2021
    • Station 37 Sooke: Call for Help Near Iron Mine Bay, November 24, 2021
    • Station 29 Ladysmith: Sinking of a Fishing Vessel in Georgia Strait, November 15, 2021

– ENDS –

 About Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue

The Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue (RCMSAR) is a volunteer-based charitable organization that operates more than 30 marine rescue stations along the coast of British Columbia and in-land waters. With over 900 volunteers, emergency response crews are on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week ready to respond to marine emergencies. RCMSAR volunteers also prevent emergencies by providing the public boating safety information, conduct pleasure craft safety checks and provide free access to children’s lifejackets at PFD loaner stations located at many docks and marinas in the communities that they serve through the Kids Don’t Float program. RCMSAR’s mission is “Saving lives on the water”.  Established in 1978 originally under the name the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary – Pacific, RCMSAR is called on to respond to marine emergencies by the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in British Columbia through an agreement with the Canadian Coast Guard.

To arrange an interview with a volunteer at a local RCMSAR in your community, contact:

Jineane Eason
Manager of Fundraising
Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue
Emails: media@rcmsar.com | jineane.eason@rcmsar.com
Direct line: 778-352-2016 or 1-800-665-4757 ext. 104
Media line: 1-778-352-1006

Download media release here: RCMSAR Volunteers Honoured at Annual Awards Ceremony 2022