A new search and rescue vessel arrived in the Semiahmoo Peninsula recently and is expected to be launched Sept. 21.

A new search and rescue vessel arrived in the Semiahmoo Peninsula recently and is expected to be launched Sept. 21.

New search-and-rescue vessel arrives

Quicker response time expected with the Vigilant.

Search and rescue crews that keep watch over those on the waters of Semiahmoo and Boundary bays are celebrating the arrival of the team’s new fast-response vessel.

The rigid-hull inflatable – purchased with funds (approximately $320,000) raised in the community over the past six-plus years – replaces the rescue craft that has carried the crew for more than a dozen years.

It will improve search-and-rescue capability, Crescent Beach station leader Spencer Barnes said.

The deal for the new vessel was signed in May 2012 and construction got underway two months later. Features include updated technology and shocks.

Barnes said the Crescent Beach and Delta RCM-SAR crews are the first to receive this type of vessel, which also features the latest in marine communications and electronic navigation equipment.

Funds for equipment and crew safety gear are all raised in the community, through private and corporate donations, legacies and sponsorships. Some funds hail from B.C. gaming proceeds; the team also hosts annual golf tournaments and a dance to help boost the coffers.

Crew members are currently familiarizing themselves with the new Vigilant, which will be officially launched on Sept. 21.

Members of the public are invited to the event, set for 10:30 a.m. at the Crescent Marina, 12555 Crescent Rd. For more information on the celebration, email spmrs@telus.net or call 604-290-7321. For more on the unit itself, visit www.rcmsar5.ca