RCMSAR volunteers perform a high-angle transfer, rescuing a person on land by way of the water. (Lindsey Horsting/News Gazette staff)

RCMSAR volunteers perform a high-angle transfer, rescuing a person on land by way of the water. (Lindsey Horsting/News Gazette staff)

Volunteers gather in Metchosin for B.C.’s 1st ever search and rescue joint training

Around 200 volunteers came out for the three-day training program

B.C.’s search and rescue crews spent Saturday working through emergency scenarios and other excercises along with the Canadian Coast Guard in a first-of-its kind joint training camp on Vancouver Island.

Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue is hosting the Search and Rescue Exercise 2018 (SAREX) in Metchosin at the Canadian Armed Forces Albert Head Training Camp this weekend.

Roughly 200 volunteers from all over the province are attending the three-day training event.

A decision by Emergency Management B.C. now allows Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue (RCMSAR) to be called to an emergency without the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre (JRCC) needing to be called as well.

On Saturday, RCMSAR vessels from up the coast of B.C. and Vancouver Island performed training exercises on the water in cooperation with the 4th Canadian Ranger Patrol, Ground Search and Rescue, PEP Air, 442 Squadron Cormorant, Canadian Navy and Coast Guard.

The groups performed high-angle transfer exercises, accessing a person on land from the water, boat tows and water and land search from the air.

Every year RCMSAR volunteers save and assist hundreds of mariners in distress in B.C.’s coastal waters.


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lindsey.horsting@goldstreamgazette.com