A hands-on marine search-and-rescue event for women and girls aged 14 and up is set for Feb. 22 in White Rock. (Contributed photo)

A hands-on marine search-and-rescue event for women and girls aged 14 and up is set for Feb. 22 in White Rock. (Contributed photo)

White Rock marine-rescue event aims to inspire women to enter the field

Operation: This IS You! set for Feb. 22, applications now open

It’s the perfect opportunity for girls and women interested in marine search-and-rescue to get their feet wet.

The Achieve Anything Foundation announced Thursday that applications are now being accepted for the Operation: This IS You! Saving Lives at Sea event set for Feb. 22 in White Rock.

“Participants will get a first-hand look into the rewarding work of marine SAR – hands-on!” a news release states, naming activities ranging from on-the-water and shore-side searches, rescues and man overboard to first-aid scenarios and dewatering stations.

The free event, offered in partnership with Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue (RCMSAR) and open to women and girls aged 14 and older, is by invitation only, the release notes. Applications must be made in advance on the foundation’s website, at www.achieveanything.ca

Those selected and invited must further complete the RSVP process by specified deadlines in order to be admitted. Interested applicants should also “self-assess (if) they are sufficiently mobile/agile to board vessels and participate in the day’s activities,” the release states.

RCMSAR is a charitable, volunteer-based organization that operates 33 marine rescue stations on the B.C. Coast and Interior, with volunteer crews who are on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to respond to marine emergencies.

According to the news release, RCMSAR volunteers conduct, on average, 800 marine rescues every year, often leaving their jobs and families on a moment’s notice to help people in trouble on the water.

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The Achieve Anything Foundation aims to inspire female future leaders in fields where the gender is “drastically under-represented,” through “incredible, hands-on experience events.” It also spearheads The Sky’s No Limit – Girls Fly Too!, described in the release as “the world’s largest gender diversity outreach event of its kind in Aviation, Aerospace, Marine and Defence.”

READ MORE: Girls Fly Too free-flight event postponed until October