FAQ

How do we get tasked?

Via pager from JRCC [Joint Rescue Centre] or bymarine VHF radio when out on patrol or training on the water.

Where are we based?

Vesuvius Bay, Salt Spring Island

What is the area of operations?

Southern Gulf Islands; from Sydney Spit in the south to Porlier Pass in the North, from the coast of Vancouver Island to the East of Galliano and Mayne Island.

Are we part of the Coast Guard?

No, we are a separate, volunteer-based agency.

What marine search and rescue assets are in our area?

Canadian Coast Guard based in Ganges,  RCMSAR Station 20 based in Pender, Station 29 based in Ladysmith, Station 33 in Oak Bay, Station 36 in Saanich, Station 34 in Mill Bay and The CCG Hovercraft based in Richmond. Click here for a map of RCMSAR stations.

Outside of SAR (search and rescue), what do we do?

We assist Gulf Islands Land Search and Rescue with shoreline searches and transport. We train with the local Coast Guard Unit and we participate in community events in Salt Spring and the surrounding islands. We run a school program for junior boaters and also assist the marine community with courtesy safety checks.

How can I get involved?

Please see the Current Opportunities page for complete information. There are a few prerequisites. Obtain a Criminal Record Check for vulnerable sector from the RCM; available on Wednesday afternoons.  Also get a Pleasure Craft Operator Certificate; there are courses run locally and you can also take this course online.  If you are colourblind then marine SAR is not for you. 

Can I join if I am not interested or able to do SAR?

Yes !

What is expected of me?

Positive participation in our weekly classroom training and meetings every Thursday at 173.  RCMSAR 25 has a zero tolerance to alcohol and drugs. Please see the Current Opportunities page for more information.

What are the hours of operation?

24/7 unless the vessel is stood down.

Do I have to carry a pager 24/7?

Since we operate out of the same location as the Canadian Coast Guard we are not the first to be called in the event of a local emergency. At this time as a member you will not be on pager 24/7 and when on call time is scheduled you will have some flexibility as to your time commitment.  

What types of training can I expect?

Radar and GPS operation;  boat handling;  navigation,  marine first aid, radio operation, boating safety, seamanship, collision regulations and local area knowledge, 

What level of fitness is required to be an active SAR member?

You must be able to: lift yourself from the water back up into the boat; jump down 5 feet to tie the boat to a dock; withstand hours at a time in cold, rainy weather and sometimes rough seas. We practice all these as part of our training.

What is required to be a member of GIMRS or provide administrative support?

As a member of RCMSAR Station 25 you are eligible for membership of our supporting charity; Gulf Islands Marine Rescue Society. If you have fundraising or administrative skills then there are a number of ways to contribute to the wellbeing of Station 25.