Ucluelet’s Royal Marine Search and Rescue team seeking new recruits

“We’re on call for anything and everything on the water.”

Ucluelet’s Royal Marine Search and Rescue team is calling out for new recruits.

The Station Leader of Ucluelet’s RCMSAR crew Dave Payne told the Westerly News that the community’s current roster of volunteer ocean heroes sits around 12 and there’s no cap on the amount of volunteers needed.

“We’re on call for anything and everything on the water,” he said adding calls range from assisting mariners who have run out of gas to life-saving ocean rescues.

Anyone interested in applying should live within about 10 minutes of Ucluelet’s harbour, have a Pleasure Craft Operator Card, be relatively fit and able to deal with the conditions on the West Coast’s open ocean.

Successful applicants will be expected to go obtain a Marine VHF radio operators certificate and First Aid certification. Additional training as well as refresher courses will be provided.

Anyone interested in applying is encouraged to contact Payne at 250-720-7231 or bsr2@telus.net.

Payne said RCMSAR’s volunteer efforts are “critical” and being a member offers rewarding experiences on the water.

“I got involved because I was working on the water all the time and I just felt a responsibility that you’re in that environment and you should contribute to it…When you go out and put a line on someone that’s going up on the rocks and tow them back in; the smile on their face is a big reward,” he said.

“The other rewarding side of it is sometimes just dealing with difficult situations and being able to meet the standards, to be able to actually accomplish what you didn’t think you could, or situations that are challenging in themselves and, to deal with that and come back with happy answers, that’s a good thing.”

Payne will be honoured with a 25-year service medal from RCMSAR during Ucluelet’s Nov. 26 municipal council meeting.

“There’s been lots of interesting experiences,” he said. “We’ve met fantastic people working together as a team; that’s all good stuff.”


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