RCM-SAR 5 members Peter Allen

RCM-SAR 5 members Peter Allen

Queen’s honour for volunteer marine team

South Surrey search and rescue crew looking forward to new rescue vessel for Crescent Beach.

Volunteers who keep watch over those who use the waters off White Rock and Crescent beaches are now doing it under a new name – and will soon be doing it in a new vessel.

Sig Kristensen, of the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue 5 (formerly Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary Crescent Unit 5), confirmed a deal to replace the team’s rescue vessel, Vigilant, was signed May 25.

It’s hoped the new equipment will be in place by the end of the year.

“Construction of the vessel will be started sometime in July,” Kristensen said. “We’re pretty excited about that. We’ll have to kick our fundraiser efforts into high gear.”

Unit members have been eying a new vessel for some time. They’ve used Vigilant – a rigid-hull inflatable – in about 400 taskings over the past 12 years, after raising more than $140,000 to get it in the water. The community was a huge part of that fundraising effort, with various organizations getting onboard to help, including the Peace Arch Rotary Club, which pitched in $50,000.

Kristensen is optimistic fundraising for the new vessel will go as smoothly, and is confident the recent rebranding of the marine rescue team will go a long way in easing the effort.

“Most people think… we’re civil servants. We’re all volunteers,” he said. “We’ve gone to people looking for some donations and they say, ‘why should we donate to you guys? You’re government.’”

RCM-SAR 5The new name of the Pacific-region auxiliary was announced May 26, during a search and rescue exercise in Horseshoe Bay. Five members of the local crew joined the event, participating in navigation, communication, seamanship and first aid exercises.

RCM-SAR president Randy Strandt said in a statement that the new name recognizes the distinct identity of the service.

“We work very closely with the Canadian Coast Guard, but we are a totally separate organization,” Strandt said.

The title “Royal” was granted by Queen Elizabeth in February, a move Kristensen suspects is connected to the fact that the auxiliary was one of 26 charitable organizations named to benefit from a fund set up by Prince William and Kate Middleton last year to accept donations in lieu of wedding gifts.

“Him being a (SAR helicopter) pilot didn’t hurt,” Kristensen added.

Kristensen said another benefit of the auxiliary’s rebranding is standardization of the vessels used. Historically, the various units have sought out and purchased their own boats for their teams. With standardization, three types of boat will be used across the region, meaning replacement parts will be more readily available for any necessary repairs.

It was a benefit the local team didn’t have last year, when the Vigilant broke down.

“We were down for two months,” said Kristensen, who was on the committee that helped design the boat his unit will be receiving.

Like the Vigilant, the new vessel will not be enclosed. Upgrades will include updated technology and shocks, the latter of which will be most noticed when the crew is out on rough water.

“From a fatigue factor… that should take a lot of that pounding out of the equation,” Kristensen said.

He estimated the new vessel will cost between $325,000 and $350,000. About one-quarter of that, $85,000, has been received from gaming funds.

The next fundraiser for the cause, a golf tournament, is coming up June 21. To get involved or to donate, contact Dan Savage at 604-531-8963.

 

Just Posted

Sergeant Mike Sanchez of the Surrey Gang Enforcement Team speaking with students. (Photo: RCMP).
Surrey RCMP’s anti-gang program goes virtual amid COVID-19 pandemic

Presentations aimed at youth available to be booked

Surrey Fire Service battled a fire at an apartment building in Fleetwood late Friday night (May 14), near 84th Avenue and 160th Street. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
UPDATE: Surrey firefighters continue to work to put out ‘stubborn’ fire

Four-storey building located at 84th Avenue near 160th Street; crews on scene for nearly 12 hours

(Clockwise, from top-left) Brenda DeJong, Carol Jones, Marcia Strang, Cathy Collis and Mark East star in the upcoming Sidekick Players Zoom presentation of the Norm Foster play “Halfway There,” directed by Carroll Lefebvre, on May 22, 2021. (Submitted photos)
Delta’s Sidekick Players continue ‘Foster Zoom Fest’ with ‘Halfway There’

Tsawwassen-based theatre company hosting another online performance on Saturday, May 22

Surrey City Hall. (File photo)
Discussions about Surrey-owned land in Langley should be behind closed doors, councillors say

That’s what Councillors Brenda Locke, Jack Hundial and former Surrey mayor Bob Bose say

White Rock RCMP, January 2021. (Tracy Holmes photo)
UPDATE: White Rock RCMP investigate ‘person-involved’ collision

Youth injured in May 13 incident was longboarding at time, police say

An animated Gordie Hogg introduces his ‘Community Connections’ videos. (YouTube screenshot)
Community Connections: Gordie Hogg speaks with Doug Stone

Former mayor, MP began posting conversations on YouTube in June

Former UFV Cascades wrestling coach Arjan Singh Bhullar is now the ONE heavyweight champion after defeating Brandon Vera via TKO in round two on Saturday in Singapore. (ONE Championship)
Former UFV wrestling coach wins MMA championship

Arjan Singh Bhullar captures ONE heavyweight title, first Indian origin fighter to achieve honour

Astra Zeneca vaccine waits for injection in a Feb. 3, 2021 file photo. A Langley man has become the second B.C. resident to suffer a blood clot following an injection. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
B.C. man required emergency surgery after AstraZeneca vaccination

Shaun Mulldoon suffered ‘massive blood clot’ after jab

Chilliwack’s Kile Brown, performing as drag queen Hailey Adler, dances and lip syncs in front of hundreds of people during the inaugural Chilliwack Pride Barbecue at the Neighbourhood Learning Centre on Aug. 24, 2019. Monday, May 17 is International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of May 16 to 22

International Day Against Homophobia, Talk Like Yoda Day, Sea Monkey Day all coming up this week

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Bradley Priestap in an undated photo provided to the media some time in 2012 by the London Police Service.
Serial sex-offender acquitted of duct tape possession in B.C. provincial court

Ontario sex offender on long-term supervision order was found with one of many ‘rape kit’ items

Rich Coleman, who was responsible for the gaming file off and on from 2001 to 2013, was recalled after his initial testimony to the Cullen Commission last month. (Screenshot)
Coleman questioned over $460K transaction at River Rock during B.C. casinos inquiry

The longtime former Langley MLA was asked about 2011 interview on BC Almanac program

Mandarin Garden in Abbotsford had two event tents set up for outdoor dining. One of the tents, valued at more than $5,000, was stolen early Friday morning (May 14). (Submitted photo)
UPDATE: Dining tent stolen from Abbotsford restaurant is located

Owner says it would have cost more than $5,000 to replace the rented event tent

Most Read