Todd Kyllo from Twin Anchors Houseboat Vacations turns over a $10,000 donation to Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue volunteers Al Poole, Dave Harvey, Marie Gray, Allen Langworth and Patrick Gau. (Contributed)

Twin Anchors donation buoys Shuswap Lake marine rescue group

Houseboat company cuts cheque for $10,000 to assist Shuswap RCMSAR station

The Shuswap’s Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue Station (RCMSAR) will have more funds to pay for training exercises and personal protective equipment following a $10,000 donation from Twin Anchors Houseboat Vacations.

Patrick Gau, who serves a coxswain with the marine search and rescue station, said the donation will help keep the station’s two boats out on the water by helping to cover fuel costs. Between training new station members and responding to emergencies during what Gau said has been one his busiest summers on the lake, the cost at the gas pump has been high.

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The RCMSAR volunteers were recently called upon to help MEDEVAC a seriously-injured man who had jumped off a houseboat into shallow water, breaking his leg in the process. Gau said another recent call proved to be a false alarm when a sail boat deployed emergency flares and then its occupants rode to shore on another boat before the rescue boat could arrive.

Gau said the money will also go towards specialized personal protective equipment related to keeping the rescue volunteers safe from the COVID-19 pandemic. For each of their calls since the pandemic began, the RCMSAR volunteers have been donning safety gear including washable coveralls.

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Twin Anchors owner Todd Kyllo said he and many others are glad to have the RCMSAR volunteers out on the water. Before the RCMSAR station opened in 2012, paramedics often had to be transported to medical emergencies on boats and at cabins without road access by the Twin Anchors service boat. Kyllo said the RCMSAR volunteers have much better equipment and training to assist the paramedics.

Along with the houseboat companies, Kyllo said the RCMSAR station is appreciated by other boaters and cabin owners. Their presence on the lake is especially welcome as Kyllo said there have been fewer RCMP and coast guard patrols on the lake in recent years.

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