The Seaspan Eagle and RCM-SAR vessels in action.

Rescue station gets donation

Royal Canadian Marine Search and rescue receives $300,000

What to do with a cash infusion of $300,000?

If you are with the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue (RCM-SAR), the answer is pretty straight forward.

“Half of that donation will support the new training facility to be built on the Glenairley property in East Sooke,” wrote Rob Duffus, the RCM-SAR Director of Marketing and Communications, in correspondence.  “The other half will go towards several RCM-SAR rescue stations in Victoria, the Lower Mainland, and the north.”

The funds were contributed by Seaspan on behalf of the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation, who announced (among other donations) a $300,000 contribution to Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue on July 25. According to the Washington Foundation’s press release, RCM-SAR will be receiving $100,000 per year until the end of 2015.

“The facility will include classrooms and our fast rescue craft vessel simulator, which is currently housed at a temporary site in Victoria,” continues Duffus. “Glenairley will also be a great location for on-water training for our rescue crews, with access to the Sooke Basin and Juan de Fuca Strait.”

According to the RCM-SAR website (http://rcmsar.com/), Sooke’s Glenairley station has the largest area to cover of all of the search and rescue stations on B.C.’s West Coast, covering the area from from Race Rocks Lighthouse just south-west of Victoria to Nitnat Lake, located between Port Renfrew and Bamfield. They also work closely with the U.S. Coast Guard.

The Sooke station has been active for 25 years. It receives about 30 calls a year, and is staffed by an active roster of about 30 unpaid professionals.

“We look forward to offering … world-class training in East Sooke,” sums up Duffus.

“This contribution will enhance the readiness of our rescue stations around the Lower Mainland, and benefit our entire organization by helping build a new training facility for our nearly 1,000 volunteer crew members,” said Jim Lee, President, Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue. “RCM-SAR is a vital part of the marine rescue system on the West Coast, and we are very pleased that the Washington Foundation and Seaspan are supporting the work we do to save lives on the water.”

This is the Washington Foundation’s first direction donation in Canada.