New vessel to help spread water safety message

Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue Shuswap Station 106 has acquired a “new to us” boat.

A second vessel means more opportunities to get people onboard with boating safety.

Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue Shuswap Station 106 has acquired a “new to us” 1989 Boston Whaler, to be used next year for its boating safety inspection program.

Station leader Rob Sutherland says this is strictly a volunteer program for boaters, to raise their awareness and instill a thought process for them to ensure they’re operating their craft safely on the water.

“It involves patrolling the lake and asking boaters if they would like us to inspect their boat to ensure that it has all of the correct and current safety equipment, that it is all serviceable, that they know how to use it and some basic questions to the operator about boating safety and operation of the boat,” said Sutherland. “We expect it would take approximately five to 10 minutes per inspection, and is based on a program we performed for Transport Canada in 2013. That program was well received and helped identify shortcomings in equipment and knowledge of the operator.”

Sutherland notes RCMSAR does not have the authority to enforce any laws, only recommend that any shortcomings be corrected. He adds, however, that if any major infractions are found, such as intoxication and no life jackets/PFDs or information about the vessel and its operator would be reported to the RCMP.

“We believe this will enhance safety on our lake and this fall we will hopefully complete all repairs, paint the boat RCMSAR colours and complete the training for the inspectors,” said Sutherland, adding that all this takes money and the non-profit volunteer organization is dependent upon donations. For more information, visit http://rcmsar.com/rescue-stations/southern-region/shuswap/ or email station106@rcmsar.com.