Inshore Rescue Boat station in Rankin Inlet open for the season

News release

June 23, 2021

Yellowknife, Northwest Territories - The safety of mariners and the protection of the marine environment are top priorities for the Canadian Coast Guard. Our Inshore Rescue Boat stations enhance our ability to respond to emergencies in Canadian waters.

The Inshore Rescue Boat (IRB) station in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut is now open for its 2021 operational season. The station is crewed by Indigenous post-secondary students hired and trained by the Canadian Coast Guard. The Rankin Inlet station was created under Canada’s Oceans Protection Plan.

The IRB program provides hands-on work experience to crew members who learn life-saving skills and provides additional maritime search and rescue (SAR) 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, Indigenous communities and other northern organizations to increase maritime safety in Arctic waters. Last season, Rankin Inlet’s IRB station crew carried out three training exercises, responded to six SAR cases, and travelled over 2,062 nautical miles.

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.

Coast Guard is actively monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and working closely with Inuit, First Nations and Metis governments and organizations, territorial and provincial governments, Arctic communities, industry, and other northern partners to make decisions based on the guidance from federal, provincial and territorial, and municipal health authorities.

Coast Guard is maintaining normal operations and levels of service in the Arctic, and National Standard Operating Procedures are in place to prevent the spread of the virus. This includes advanced screening and implementing onboard extra sanitation practices for all Coast Guard crews. In Rankin Inlet, daily health monitoring including temperature checks will be done, and all non-essential in-person public engagement activities in the Arctic have been cancelled this year.

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 stronger 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.

In western Hudson Bay, marine emergencies can be called into the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Trenton 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, toll-free at 1-800-267-7270

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Inshore Rescue Boat
Inshore Rescue Boat station crew in Rankin Inlet are now on the water for the 2021 season.

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Regional Communications Branch
Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
Arctic Region

Lauren Solski
Communications Advisor
Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

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