Inshore Rescue Boat station in Rankin Inlet opens for 2020 operational season
June 17, 2020
Yellowknife, Northwest Territories - The Inshore Rescue Boat (IRB) station in Rankin Inlet, NU, implemented under Canada’s Ocean Protection Plan, is now open for its third operational season. The station is crewed by Indigenous post-secondary students hired and trained by the Canadian Coast Guard.
IRB stations are part of Coast Guard’s IRB program, which provides hands-on work experience to crew members who learn life-saving skills and provides additional maritime search and rescue services during the summer season. In Rankin Inlet, the IRB crew is an important part of the emergency preparedness and response system, working together with the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary, Inuit communities and other northern organizations to increase maritime safety in Arctic waters. Last season, Rankin Inlet’s IRB station provided 74 days of service to the region, and travelled 542 nautical miles, or 1,003 kilometres, during on-water patrols.
Coast Guard continues to provide its services to Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic, working closely with Indigenous organizations and governments, territorial governments, communities, industry, and other partners to make decisions about health and safety based on the best guidance available from federal, provincial and territorial, and municipal health authorities.
At the Rankin Inlet IRB station, daily health monitoring including temperature checks will be done, and all IRB crew have isolated for 14 days in Winnipeg, Manitoba prior to travelling. Furthermore, all non-essential public engagement activities in the Arctic have been cancelled this year.
Distress calls that the IRB crews respond to range from capsized vessels and boats taking on water to medical emergencies. The crews also provide public education on boating safety issues for the communities they serve, such as the rules of navigation, and the required safety equipment for vessels.
In western Hudson Bay, marine emergencies can be called into the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Trenton, Ontario 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, toll-free at 1-800-267-7270 or by VHF radio (channel 16), or by dialing *16 on a cell phone.
The $1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan is the largest investment ever made to protect Canada’s coasts and waterways. This national plan is creating a world-leading marine safety system that provides economic opportunities for Canadians today, while protecting our coastlines and clean water for generations to come. This work is being done in close collaboration with Indigenous peoples, local stakeholders and coastal communities.
Regional Communications Branch
Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
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