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Canadian Coast Guard opens first rescue boat station in the Arctic

The Canadian Coast Guard has opened its new inshore rescue boat station in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut.

Station run by Indigenous students in the Arctic

The Canadian Coast Guard opened its first Arctic rescue boat station in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, this summer. (Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard)

The Canadian Coast Guard has officially opened its first inshore rescue boat station in the Arctic.

A celebration was held in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, on Thursday to mark the event. The station is part of a federally run program to give work experience to post-secondary students. Those who work at the station learn skills such as search and rescue — the Rankin team will work directly with local search and rescue operations.

According to the coast guard, Rankin Inlet's station is operated by Indigenous students from the Arctic.

"Lots of people from the community came [to the celebration]," said Katia Jollez, a spokesperson for the Canadian Coast Guard.

The station is operated by Inuit students. (Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard)

"We had kids that were able to get on board the boat and meet the crew. We were able to introduce the crew to the community. So, overall a really great event to celebrate this important milestone," she said.

The goal is to expand search and rescue coverage and reduce response times. In the past, people in distress often had to wait hours for rescue resources in the South to reach them.

Nunavut's Community and Government Services Minister Lorne Kusugak was also on hand for the event this week.

The coast guard held an event in Rankin Inlet on Thursday to celebrate the new station. (Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard)

It has been in operation since June and has one boat for the summer months. It will operate until September, before ice covers the waters.

Canada now has 26 inshore rescue boat stations coast to coast.

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