Nanaimo Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue is seeking volunteers to work alongside members Ruth Sharun

Nanaimo Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue is seeking volunteers to work alongside members Ruth Sharun

More eyes sought for Nanaimo marine search and rescue

NANAIMO – Volunteer group helps keep Nanaimo's waters safe.

Nanaimo Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue seeks a few good women and men.

The non-profit organization devoted to search and rescue operations on the water and boating safety promotion is currently accepting volunteer applications.

This group is separate from the ground search and rescue organization in Nanaimo.

Successful applicants must be willing to be on call for 12-hour shifts and are required to have a Pleasure Craft Operator Certificate, standard first aid and CPR C-level, and a knowledge of Nanaimo’s waters. There are also physical demands.

“You’ve got to be in good shape,” said Michel Morin, Nanaimo Marine Rescue Society fundraising director. “Basically, during the training, you’ve got to be able to jump in the water … you have to [be able to] jump back into the boat by yourself, using a rope on the side of the boat.”

Missions could include assisting boats that are on fire, taking on water, out of gas or needing engine repair.

Additionally, volunteers must live within 15 minutes of the rescue station near Brechin Road boat launch, with no exceptions, according to Morin.

The aim is to be out of the boathouse within 20 minutes.

“You have to understand also that maybe the people in an emergency could be on the other side of Gabriola Island or they can be anywhere,” Morin said. “They’ve been in trouble for a half hour before they decide to call for help, plus … another 15, 20 minutes, half an hour, to get there.

“It’s a long time to be on fire when it’s like an hour and a half. So that’s why this is not a relaxed rule.”

Ruth Sharun, Nanaimo recruitment officer, said rescue crew aren’t the only volunteers sought – people can assist with other services.

“We do a lot of boating safety information, public education presentations. We have school visit programs, we attend public events just to provide information to the public,” said Sharun. “We have maintenance that needs to be done, a society that looks after fundraising.”

The organization will begin interviews Wednesday and Thursday (Sept. 2-3), with training slated for the middle of the month.

For interested people, please contact Sharun by e-mail at

In 2014, Nanaimo Marine Search and Rescue executed 67 missions, saving 13 lives and $650,000 in property, according to the group.

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