Canadian Coast Guard opens search and rescue station in Victoria, announces two new West Coast lifeboats
Victoria, British Columbia - Terry Beech, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, was in Victoria, B.C. today to open a new Canadian Coast Guard search and rescue station, and to announce details of two new Coast Guard lifeboats that will be stationed on the West Coast. Mr. Beech made the announcements on behalf of the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard.
The new Victoria station is in service now and enhances the Coast Guard’s marine search and rescue capacity around Victoria and in the eastern and central Strait of Juan de Fuca. It builds on the Coast Guard’s longstanding partnerships with volunteer organizations like the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue, as well as with the Royal Canadian Navy and local first responders, to improve the marine safety system in the region.
The Victoria station will be home to a 14.7-metre Canadian Coast Guard lifeboat and a Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat, and is located at the Victoria Canadian Coast Guard Base in James Bay. It will operate 24-hours-a-day.
The Canadian Coast Guard is opening four new search and rescue stations in British Columbia as part of the Government of Canada’s $1.5-billion Oceans Protection Plan, which aims to improve marine safety, protect Canada’s marine environment and coastal communities, and support economic growth. The other B.C. stations will be located in the areas of Hartley Bay, Nootka Sound and Port Renfrew.
Mr. Beech also announced the Coast Guard will deploy two new search and rescue lifeboats in British Columbia in 2019. The CCGS McIntyre Bay will be stationed at Prince Rupert, and the CCGS Pachena Bay will serve the Port Hardy area as an interim measure. These vessels will able to operate up to 100 nautical miles from shore, delivering modern search and rescue capability.
“We are committed to ensuring the women and men of the Canadian Coast Guard have the equipment and resources they need to ensure the safety of mariners, and protect the marine environment. The Victoria search and rescue station will be of immediate benefit to mariners in the Victoria area and the eastern and central part of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. It will enhance the Coast Guard’s ability to respond to marine incidents of all kinds, including search and rescue and environmental response.”
Terry Beech, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
Studies on how to best improve marine search and rescue across Canada identified the eastern and central Strait of Juan de Fuca as an area that would benefit from increased capacity.
Marine search and rescue in the area has relied on partners such as the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue, the Royal Canadian Navy, and local first responders with water resources such as fire and police services and the RCMP.
The Canadian Coast Guard is supported by the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary, a network of 4,000 volunteers across Canada to support maritime search and rescue activities. A new chapter of the Coast Guard Auxiliary will be created in British Columbia to support Indigenous communities.
A total of seven new marine search and rescue stations are being opened under the Oceans Protection Plan: four in B.C. and three in Newfoundland and Labrador.
The CCGS McIntyre Bay and CCGS Pachena Bay are among 12 new lifeboats being built under the Federal Infrastructure Initiative and the Fleet Renewal Plan. Chantier Naval Forillon of Gaspé, Quebec, and Hike Metal Products of Wheatley, Ontario, won contracts in July 2015 to build the new lifeboats, creating or sustaining a total of approximately 105 jobs.
The lifeboats are part of a new class of vessel that are being named after bays in Canada.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Office of the Minister
Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
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