It’s 2 am. The call goes out. Trained volunteers from all walks of life rush out into the freezing wind and darkness to save someone they’ve never met.
From Vancouver’s busy harbour to the remote waters of the North Coast, RCMSAR volunteer crews are on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, ready to respond to marine emergencies.
A volunteer-based charitable organization that operates more than 30 marine rescue stations along British Columbia’s coast and in-land waters, more than 900 highly trained volunteers operate, year-round, in one of the most challenging search and rescue regions in the world.
RCMSAR saves hundreds of lives on the water each year thanks to the generosity of our partners and donors.
Our volunteers also dedicate thousands of hours each year to prevent emergencies by sharing with the public boating safety information, conducting pleasure craft safety checks and providing free access to children’s lifejackets at PFD loaner stations located at many docks and marinas in the communities they serve.
Saving Lives on the Water
In the last 12 months (October 2021–October 2022), RCMSAR volunteers at 31 marine search and rescue stations:
- Conducted 440 Missions of which 67% of all calls for help occurred during the day
- Had an average Response Time of 18.62 min and average Mission Duration of 2.25 hours
- Assisted 364 people on the water and saved 56 lives
- Have 47 Fast Response Craft Assets across the province to answer your call for help, quickly
RCMSAR is a key part of the marine search and rescue (SAR) system. We provide support for on-the-water humanitarian aid when called upon by provincial authorities, local communities, Indigenous partners, and other first responder agencies. RCMSAR also operates from communities where they are the only available marine response assets, filling an important role in the SAR network.