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

Victoria – For immediate release 

March 2, 2022

Today, marks Search and Rescue Volunteer Memorial Day in British Columbia.

Representatives from the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue, BC Search and Rescue Association, the Provincial Emergency Program (PEP) Air, Coastal Nations Coast Guard Auxiliary and the provincial government will meet on the grounds of the BC Legislature this afternoon to pay their respects to those who lost their lives trying to save others.

Search and Rescue Volunteer Memorial Day also honours the contributions of over 4,500 search and rescue volunteer professionals who risk their safety to help those who are injured, stranded or face emergencies on the water, air, and land.

For many in the search and rescue (SAR) field, search and rescue volunteers across the province have met increased calls for help during the pandemic as more people took to nature than in recent years. In 2021, these selfless heroes devoted over 513,000 hours training and responding to taskings day and night, often in challenging conditions.

While facing the inherent risks that come with saving lives, 4,554 search and rescue volunteer professionals continue to serve British Columbia, putting the safety of others ahead of personal safety thanks to the professional training and equipment they receive funded by the communities they serve.


2021 Volunteer Search and Rescue Impact in British Columbia

Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue

  • Marine Taskings: 515
  • Volunteer Members: 974
  • Marine Search and Rescue Stations: 31
  • Assets (Vessels): 47
  • Total Volunteer Hours: 57,436
  • Lives Saved & Assisted: 455

BC Search & Rescue

  • Missions/Taskings: 1,900
  • Volunteer Members: 3,000
  • Ground Search and Rescue Groups: 79
  • Total Volunteer Hours: 430,000
  • Lost or Injured Persons found: 2,100

Provincial Emergency Program Air

  • Missions/Taskings: 59
  • Volunteer Members: 500
  • Assets (Aircraft): 62
  • Total Volunteer Hours: 25,956
  • Length Driven: 12,363 Kms

Coastal Nations Coast Guard Auxiliary (Western)

  • Marine Taskings: 15
  • First Nations Volunteer Members: 80
  • First Nation CN-CGA Units: 8 (2 are operational)
  • Assets (Vessels): 7

Download a copy of this Media Release here.


About the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue (RCMSAR)
RCMSAR is a not-for-profit volunteer-based organization that operates more than 30 marine rescue stations along the coast of British Columbia and in-land waters since 1978. 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 provide 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. RCMSAR’s mission is “Saving lives on the water”.

About BC Search and Rescue Association (BCSARA)
Ground Search and Rescue (GSAR) in British Columbia is done solely by volunteers. On call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, these unpaid professionals provide their time, gear, dedication, and expertise to the people of BC and the subjects they rescue. BCSARA’s mission is to represent un-paid professional ground search and rescue community by providing advocacy, support for funding and health and safety, access to information as well as public education and prevention.

About Provincial Emergency Program Air (PEP Air)
PEP Air is a British Columbia-wide volunteer aviation association dedicated to the promotion of Aviation Safety. PEP Air’s primary role includes searching from the air and conducting electronic searches on the ground assisting the RCMP, the Canadian Military, PEP Ground Crews and local groups in searching for aircraft, boaters, hikers, and others. PEP AIR is an associate member of the Civil Air Search and Rescue Association, or CASARA.

About Coastal Nations Coast Guard Auxiliary (Western) Inc (CN-CGA)
CN-CGA was incorporated in 2018 under the sponsorship of the Federal Government, for the purpose of providing organized voluntary maritime Search & Rescue (SAR) in coastal areas of British Columbia. The CN-CGA in addition to SAR, promotes water safety and conducts coastal safety patrols in an auxiliary support role to the Canadian Coast Guard. CN-CGA’s mission is to ensure effective marine search and rescue services for people in distress throughout BC’s coastal region.

For interviews contact:  

  • Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue Inc (RCMSAR) –Ralph Mohrmann, Director of Readiness,  ralph.mohrmann@rcmsar.com, (250) 812-8976
  • BC Search & Rescue Association (BCSARA) – Dwight Yochim, dwight.yochim@bcsara.com, Senior Manager, (778) 584-5882
  • Provincial Emergency Program Air (PEP Air) – Alton King, Director General, PEPAir.CASARA@gmail.com,  (250) 489-9000
  • Coastal Nations Coast Guard Auxiliary (Western) Inc (CN-CGA) – Conrad James Shaw Cowan CD, BA, MA-(DEM), Executive Director, c.cowan@cn-cga.ca,  (778) 700-9090