Call if you need us, Inshore Rescue Boat Service urges Islanders
Inshore Rescue Boat Service back in Charlottetown waters for the summer
The Canadian Coast Guard's Inshore Rescue Boat Service is back in harbours around the country — including around Charlottetown — and is urging Islanders to call if and when they have an emergency on the water.
Isaac Longard, a maritime search and rescue preparedness officer with the Coast Guard, said the vessels are very good for rapid response and can operate in a variety of sea states.
"In any search and rescue case, especially if people's lives are directly in danger, for example, for somebody being in the water, timing is definitely important," he said.
The program started in the 1970s for two main reasons — to provide meaningful summer employment for students, and to help keep Canadian harbours safe during the busy summer months.
"For incidents like people in the water, where it's cold, we need someone to get to them as soon as possible and that is why we have a super fast boat," said Remie Mill, who is in her second year of participating in the program.
It has now expanded to 26 different stations in three regions, including a new station in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut.
Crews often work with two different styles of rigid hulled inflatable zodiacs, between six and eight meters in length.
The program employs more than 150 students over the summer months, when pleasure craft traffic is at its peak.
People in distress can contact the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre, located in Halifax, at 1-800-565-1582.