Snow to Surfers watched by guardian angels on Courtenay River

Comox Valley Marine Rescue (CVMRS) Station 60 had a big turnout of new trainees to support regular crew members for the Royal LePage Comox Valley Snow to Surf Adventure Relay Race last Sunday.

THE CREW of the Comox Valley Marine Rescue vessel Bruce Brown II keeps a lookout for Snow to Surf canoeists who could be in trouble on the Courtenay River Estuary.

Comox Valley Marine Rescue (CVMRS) Station 60 had a big turnout of new trainees to support regular crew members for the Royal LePage Comox Valley Snow to Surf Adventure Relay Race last Sunday.

New trainees were partnered with regular members to keep a watch from shore along the river for any struggling canoeists.

Seven shoreside teams were in constant radio communication with the Station 60 rescue vessels.

“This is the first time during their training season that new trainees get a chance to practise their radio communication skills,” said Station 60 Senior Coxswain Dick Leach. “Since not all new trainees are licensed to operate VHF Radios, they are teamed up with fully trained members who coach and co-ordinate the communications.”

Station 60 had two fully-crewed rescue vessels tasked to cruise the waters of the Courtenay River and estuary, ready to pick up any canoeists who ran into trouble. One additional vessel was positioned at the south edge of the estuary to co-ordinate communications and operations.

“Ironically, this is a tough assignment because the participants who might be in trouble don’t necessarily want to be helped,” pointed out Station 60 leader Cathy Dupuis. “If we directly assist a team of canoeists in trouble, they could be disqualified. We have to carefully assess each situation as it arises.”

CVMRS Station 60 welcomes new volunteers throughout the year.

If you are interested in volunteering with the Comox Valley Marine Rescue, e-mail comoxmarinerescue@gmail.com or phone Cathy Dupuis at 250-898-8416.

— Comox Valley Marine Rescue

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