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Tips for staying safe on the water, from RSCM SAR Station 61

Pender Harbour's local SAR runs through some basic safety and local programs available to Pender Harbour area residents.
C.RSCMSAR Station 61
Community donors support RCMSAR Station 61 – Pender Harbour: It is community donors like these who help RCMSAR carry out its mission of saving lives on the water. From left to right, Guy Halford Thompson of Pender Harbour Rotary, Diana Torrens of RCMSAR Station 61 Pender Harbour, and Fay and Ian Wright of Garden Bay.

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 programmes we will continue to have in place for the 2022 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 will be 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. Special thanks go out to Ian and Fay Wright, who have just made a very generous donation specifically to this program! Ian served with Station 61 for many years and continues to contribute in many ways. 

The second program is our 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. If you venture out, 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. To help you assess weather conditions in your area, our website features real-time webcams: 

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, and that a slow-speed, no-wake rule is in effect in the harbour zone in Pender Harbour. 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 (see above) to carry out our valuable mission of saving lives on the water. We would love to hear from anyone interested in volunteering, either as a crew member or with valuable fundraising and administration, and anyone interested in making a donation. Donations may be made via our website at and are tax deductible.