On May 18, Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue Station 4 Squamish was tasked in search of an overturned solo canoer. Within 16 minutes of the call RCMSAR04 departed and quickly located the individual who was stranded on the steep rocky shore for almost 96 hours after slipping trying to pull the canoe on shore and lost it, along with most of the individual’s gear. Fortunately, a lone kayaker spotted the individual and had the tools to call for help: a marine VHF radio and a GPS.

The call for help along with the exact coordinates allowed for a positive outcome.

With the boating season underway and the warmer temperatures ahead of us, the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue reminds boaters to consider these safety messages ahead of Safe Boating Awareness Week:

  1. Wear Your Lifejacket
  2. Boat Sober
  3. Take a Boating Course
  4. Be Aware of Cold-Water Risks; and,
  5. Be Prepared – You and Your Vessel

In preparation for a day out on the water, RCMSAR is also recommends boaters:

  • Leave a Sail Plan with loved ones prior to going out on the water.
  • Familiarize yourself with the area you are visiting; be aware of commercial traffic zones and remote areas that lack reliable cellular coverage.
  • Call for help when faced with an emergency on the water: use VHF CH 16 (channel 16 via a marine VHF radio) or call *16 or #727 on your cell phone.

This story demonstrates the importance of being prepared and that one simple slip can turn into four days of survival through torrential rains and thunderstorms.

Our appreciation to CTV News Vancouver, Global BC News and the many local newspapers for covering this story and featuring Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue Station 4 Squamish volunteers.

RCMSAR applauds Steve Best, the lone kayaker who acted quickly and was prepared to call for help.  Bravo Zulu!

RCMSAR is a not-for-profit volunteer-based organization that operates 31 marine rescue stations along the coast of British Columbia and in-land waters with over 900 volunteers and emergency response crews on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. RCMSAR’s mission is “Saving lives on the water”.

As a charity, we depend on the support of our donors and local communities to help us meet the cost of saving lives on the water.
Your gift today will save lives – visit