How We Work
Our 30+ unit members - men and women - are all volunteers based on Salt Spring Island. We are ready 24h/d and 365d/yr to respond to emergencies in our local marine area. We are trained and equipped to successfully tackle anything we may encounter. The marine environment can be hazardous, and the Gulf Islands an extremely active area for boaters, many of whom are Salt Spring Island residents. Our vessel is therefore well-equipped and in good repair. Our volunteers are provided with the use of gear and equipment to help ensure the highest levels of quality and safety.
We regularly participate in co-training with the land-based Salt Spring Island Search and Rescue, neighbouring Marine SAR Units and the Canadian Coast Guard unit based in Ganges Harbour.
OUR FAST RESPONSE VESSEL - the Amarah Gabriel
Station 25 operates a Titan 249XL Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RHIB), the Amarah Gabriel based in Vesuvius Harbour, powered by twin 225 HP Yamaha outboard engines and which can reach speeds in excess of 40 nautical miles/hour.
On board behind the helm position are GPS/chartplotter and radar consoles, a self-righting system, a tow assembly, VHF radios, dewatering pump, searchlights, first aid equipment, an automated external defibrillator, a buoyant stretcher, as well as other essential marine SAR and safety equipment.
Marine Safety Education and Community Engagement
Junior Cadet Work Experience Program at the Gulf Islands Secondary School - Training of up to 8 senior high school students each year:
Classroom training is based on the RCMSAR Search and Rescue Crew Manual - click here - covering all aspects of marine SAR activities, safety, practical seamanship, communications, navigation, etc. In addition, the students are guided through the knowledge required to achieve the following certifications:
1. Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC) - click here,
2. Marine Basic First Aid, Canadian Red Cross - click here, and
3. VHF Radio Operator Certificate - Marine (ROC-M) - click here.
On-the-water training consists of 12-2hour supervised hands-on practical sessions on board RCMSAR25’s rescue vessel – the Amarah Gabriel – based in Vesuvius harbour.
Safe Boating for Schools – visits to elementary schools on Salt Spring Island and some outer islands to expose children K to 5 to the essentials of safe boating – in 2019 about 350 students were engaged.
Kids Don’t Float - ensuring a supply of freely available children's PFDs (personal flotation devices) at local marinas and docks.
Courtesy Safety Checks - on request annually at local marinas and sailing clubs based on Transport Canada’s Safe Boating Guide.