April 19, 2023 at 11:34 am
The Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary Rescue Boat serving the lower Lake Huron and upper St. Clair River is now operational, about a month ahead of schedule.
Thanks to unseasonably warm temperatures and the crew’s extra cold-weather gear, the PointSAR boat was able to launch this season.
Department chief Greg Grimes said until now they had not had suitable immersion and flotation suits that would allow them to be exposed to cold water.
“I think a lot of people forget that at this time of year, the water is still pretty cold,” Grimes said. “Being thrown into the water without proper protection can leave you out of breath, your muscles can cramp very quickly and it’s hard to sustain yourself in the water. This layer of protection allows us to keep our crews safe in cold water Go out with confidence.”
The 15-member crew is available 24/7 to help authorities with any issues that may arise, Grimes said.
“We respond to shipwrecks, people overboard, missing people, unidentified objects in the water and environmental spills,” Grimes said. “Our crews are trained in every aspect of Coast Guard response.”
Grimes says they use the Zodiac Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RHIB).
“They’re designed to handle rough waters and include flotation devices and quick drains,” he said. “The boat has a self-righting system. So, if it capsizes in the water, a giant air bag inflates and the boat rolls to starboard so the crew can get back on board.”
Thanks to the continued support of the Alix Foundation, this boat has been fitted with updated electronics and a new outboard motor over the past few years.
He said they were looking forward to helping the Bluewater Anglers run a salmon race on April 29th.
Other dates circled on the calendar include the Mackinaw Regatta, the Offshore Speedboat Race and the annual Rafting.
He said they are still recruiting new members for the team.
Those who are interested can go www.PointSAR.ca to know more information.