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Shuswap Lifeboat Society receives grant that’s final step towards building rescue base

$250,000 received from B.C.’s Community Gaming Grants program
A concept drawing of what the future RCMSAR Shuswap Station 106 boathouse facility/rescue base could look like. (Contributed)

A modern marine rescue base is coming to Sicamous thanks in part to B.C.’s Community Gaming Grants (CCG) program.

The Shuswap Lifeboat Society (SLS), which supports Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue Shuswap Station 106 (RCMSAR), was recently one of five recipients of CCG grants in the North Okanagan-Shuswap.

The SLS received $250,000 to build a boathouse facility, which will serve as a rescue base for RCMSAR.

According to a Jan. 17 media release from SLS president Bruce Weicker, discussions around the need for a boathouse to safeguard Station 106’s rescue vessels, equipment, etc.,have been ongoing since 2017.

Weicker wrote the grant is “really appreciated and the final component required for us to realize the construction of our facility.”

A five-year campaign of design, promotion and fundraising for the rescue base preceded the Jan. 17 announcement. Money for the base is coming from three sources, one of which is the CCG grant. The second is a construction loan from SASCU, which will be repaid by the Columbia Shuswap Regional District over a period of 10 years. The third is money from a SLS reserve account.

“This is a most exciting time…” said Weicker. “Since we began 10 years ago, we have had many achievements, but by far, realizing this modern rescue base is our greatest.”

Weicker extended gratitude to the individuals, businesses, service clubs and local governments that have supported SLS and RCMSAR in their efforts to get facility built.

“We can’t thank you enough,” he wrote.

RCMSAR Shuswap Station 106 leader Rob Sutherland is excited to be able to centralize and protect Station 106’s assets, which he said are now worth almost $1 million.

He said the boathouse facility will save RCMSAR thousands in maintenance costs and eliminate the need for volunteers to shovel snow and ice to keep boats rescue-ready in the winter. He added winter training will benefit as “static” training can be completed inside the facility.

Construction of the facility is expected to begin this summer.

RCMSAR 106 Rescue Base from Brendan Carr on Vimeo.

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