Coast Guard’s only search and rescue dive team to end

Federal government says the unit, based in Richmond, isn’t part of the ‘core mandate.’

The Canadian Coast Guard’s only search and rescue dive team is being shut down, ahead of boating season.

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans confirmed the Sea Island dive team in Richmond is being dismantled, with funding being re-directed to “enhance search and rescue capacity and response,” including for four new lifeboat stations around Vancouver.

The dive team, set up in 1995, has some of the highest levels of diving certifications, with members able to enter wrecked or submerged vessels, vehicles and aircrafts since 2013.

The DFO said these skills are “not part of the core search and rescue mandate.”

The Kitsilano Coast Guard station was shut down in 2013, despite many concerns over slower response times to boaters in trouble and oil spills, but was re-instated last summer.

RELATED: Trudeau directs reopening of Coast Guard base, action on Fraser salmon

“With last summer’s re-opening of the Kitsilano Coast Guard station, and expanding its mandate to include emergency environmental response, Vancouver harbour is safer than it was two years ago and the entire coast will be safer than it has ever been once all these historic investments will have been made,” the DFO said in a statement.

Dive team members will be transferred to other positions in the Coast Guard, while the search and rescue program on Sea Island will remain.

More to come.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

British couple vacationing in Vancouver detained in US after ‘accidentally’ crossing border

Parents travelling with three-month-old reportedly being held in Pennsylvania

Shoppers line up for Winners opening at Semiahmoo Shopping Centre

Popular retail store is second in South Surrey

UPDATE: RCMP shoot and kill ‘aggressive’ dog in South Surrey

Member of the public not seriously injured after dog bite

Lord Tweedsmuir downs Seaquam in high school football

The Panthers improve to 3-1, move into a tie for second in the Eastern Conference

‘A monumental step’: Surrey Food Bank finds new, much larger home in Newton

The charity is expected to make the move next summer

VIDEO: #MeToo leader launches new hashtag to mobilize U.S. voters

Tarana Burke hopes to prompt moderators to ask about sexual violence at next debate

B.C. massage therapist reprimanded, fined for exposing patients’ breasts

Registered massage therapist admits professional misconduct

B.C. boosts legal aid funding in new payment contract

‘Duty counsel’ service restored in some communities, David Eby says

Rugby Canada helps recovery efforts in Japan after typhoon cancels final match

Canadian players wanted to “give back in whatever small way they could”

$100,000 reward for B.C. gangster extended to United States

Police belive fugitive Conor D’Monte may be in the Los Angeles area

Cheating husband sues mistress for gifted ring after wife learns about affair

The husband gave his mistress $1,000 to buy herself a ring in December 2017

Emily Carr University closed Sunday after fire causes some damage

The school is working with Vancouver police to assist their investigation into the fire

After losing two baby boys, B.C. parents hope to cut through the taboo of infant death

Oct. 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day in B.C.

Alberta to join B.C.’s class-action lawsuit against opioid manufacturers, distributors

B.C. government claims opioids were falsely marketed as less addictive than other pain meds

Most Read

l -->