Two search and rescue teams on the Sunshine Coast have begun to train together in order to better cover emergencies, whether they happen on land or in the water.
On June 29, Sunshine Coast Search and Rescue – the ground SAR unit – hosted the Royal Canadian Marine SAR Station 14. Thirty-one people and two search dogs were present, as RCMSAR checked out the other group’s mobile command unit and compared different types of lifesaving equipment.
Morgan Beall, the deputy station leader and coxswain for RCMSAR, said the volunteers were excited to see the ground SAR’s new rigid inflatable boat for lake searches.
“Of course, we got excited and offered to help them learn some of the techniques we know for getting people out of the water or shoreline searches,” Beall told Coast Reporter in an email.
By July 18, they were fulfilling that promise, and 22 volunteers came out for a joint water training exercise in Gibsons. RCMSAR transported ground SAR to and from a beach with all their equipment, tasked with finding a practice subject, providing first aid and transporting all back to the dock.
“This event was created to practise a joint operation, as a probable situation, that would test our ability to adapt to logistics, communicate, and work effectively as one efficient SAR team,” Beall wrote.
“In training opportunities like these, many valuable lessons are learned early so that we perform better when it matters most.”
Both search and rescue units are made up of local volunteers, and rely on donations to purchase and maintain equipment. Donations are always welcome (and can be made online at www.rcmsar14.ca and sunshine.vr-sar.org), and both units are currently seeking new recruits.