Delta Lifeboat service makes urgent appeal to repair vessel

Lifeboat service in danger

Delta Lifeboat captain John Horton wants to continue offering the vessel’s lifesaving services – but needs the public’s help to ensure the crew can continue.

In addition to saving lives, the Delta Lifeboat, which is part of the Canadian Lifeboat Institute, also offers volunteer support and assistance to Delta’s emergency services, the Canadian Coast Guard, Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue, fishermen, commercial shipping and recreational boaters.

“Because of the global pandemic, linked with the provincial state of emergency and rising costs, we’ve not been able to hold any of our normal fundraising events. Because things like boat shows, and dinners and social gatherings where we normally raise our money, we haven’t been able to do that,” says Horton.

In addition to limited fundraising abilities, unexpected maintenance costs for CLI’s two vessels, the Delta Lifeboat and Fraser Lifeboat, has pushed them to put out an “urgent appeal” to raise $40,000 for the Delta Lifeboat’s expenses.

“We have to make sure that our lifeboats are, of course, in tip top condition, so that we can continue to do our lifesaving work. The Fraser River here, which is where we operate two of our lifeboats out of the mouth of the Fraser River, it is actually one of the leading search and rescue areas in the whole of Canada. There’s a lot of lives lost here over the years, so it’s really important that we support the Coast Guard and other search and rescue organizations,” says Horton.

About $30,000 has been raised so far.

The funds will go towards fuel, training crew members and all things needed to make the Ladner Harbor-based Delta Lifeboat functional in its many roles.

Since the pandemic, Horton has noticed a significant increase of people buying recreational vessels, particularly to go fishing off the mouth of the Fraser River.

“A lot of these people are absolutely brand new to boating ... there’s a lot of people out there that don’t know what they’re doing, which has added not only to us helping people, but having to be there and keeping our eyes open to make sure that if somebody gets into trouble, there’s assistance at hand,” he says.

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