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Marine rescue group searching for new members

Nanaimo’s Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue station is looking for people who love being out on the water and helping others.

The group hopes to recruit about six people willing to join for at least a year or two, said Ruth Sharun, recruitment officer.

“It’s quite an intensive training process, so we can’t take short-term members,” she said. “We have enough to fill the schedule, but we want to make sure we always have new members coming in so we can keep a well-balanced, well-rounded crew.”

Training starts in September.

The Nanaimo station is busiest on the Pacific coast with 70-90 callouts per year and volunteer crew members must be prepared to respond to a wide range of incidents, from long searches and towing boats to landing on islands.

“This is a really busy harbour,” said Sharun. “We really have to be prepared for anything. This is a really interesting, challenging opportunity to provide service to other people.”

Volunteers gain knowledge and skills that help them become better boaters, but Sharun is looking for a specific skill set in potential recruits.

People must have their pleasure craft operators certificate, restricted radio operator certificate, standard first aid and CPR-C and undergo a criminal record check.

They must also have a fairly extensive boating background, commit to weekly training sessions and on-call shifts, live within 15 minutes of the station at Brechin Boat Ramp and be physically capable of going out on the water at all hours and bad conditions.

“We are often out in fairly rough water,” said Sharun.

For more information, please contact Sharun at recruit27@rcmsar.com.

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