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Pender Harbour RCMSAR safety programs return with boating season

Kids Don’t Float PFD loans, safety checks offered by RCMSAR

As the great weather arrives, people will be heading out in increasing numbers to enjoy themselves on the water.

Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue Station 61 Pender Harbour would like Sunshine Coast residents and visitors to know how to reach us should they find themselves in need of our assistance: cell phone #727 or *16, VHF channel 16 (156.8 MHz) or 1-800-567-5111.

We are very excited about two programs we will continue to have in place for the 2024 season.

The first is the popular Kids Don’t Float program. Kids Don’t Float signs and accompanying loaner PFDs for infants, toddlers and young children are placed at the docks at Madeira Park, John Henry’s and Pender Harbour Resort in Garden Bay, and Egmont. If you are heading out on the water with your children and realise you forgot their PFD, you can borrow one from one of these loaner stations and return it at the end of your outing. This is all part of our mission to save lives on the water and make sure that our youngest mariners are safe out there.

The second is our program of free vessel safety checks offered to boaters in our area. RCMSAR Station 61 crew members will visit your vessel at a booked time and check out things such as general state of the vessel, number of PFDs on board, fire extinguisher, etc. and let you know if anything should be checked out or repaired to keep you safe on the water. These are courtesy inspections only, and are intended to highlight items that should be addressed in order to  comply with the Transport Canada Small Vessel Regulations. For more information and to book your safety check, please visit our website:

As the weather gets nicer and the days longer, the temptation will be great to head out on the water. Please pay attention to your self-rescue capability, wear a PFD, verify that all mandatory safety and rescue equipment is on board and working properly and that you know where it is and how to use it. Leave a trip plan with a responsible person, so that it is easier to assist you should the need arise.

We would also remind everyone that knowledge of and compliance with the collision regulations (found easily online with a Google search) is mandatory for all. We warmly encourage all users of our beautiful coastline to engage in safe mariner practices and be considerate towards your fellow boaters, kayakers, paddle boarders, etc.

RCMSAR is volunteer-based and heavily dependent on donations to carry out our valuable mission of saving lives on the water. Donations are always welcome and may be made via our website at and are tax deductible. We would love to hear from anyone interested in volunteering, either as a crew member or with valuable fundraising and admin.