Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue is getting a new facility in Sicamous.
The volunteer non-profit organization provides on-water search and rescue services within British Columbia, through its 31 stations.
On May 19, 2012, RCMSAR Station 106 Shuswap was officially commissioned, and within hours, vessel Rescue One and crew were dispatched on the first mission, a medical emergency.
Over the next several years, the vessels were moored at a dock year-round, prepared to respond to any emergency call.
There has been ongoing discussions about the need for a boathouse to safeguard and maintain the rescue vessels, and earlier this week, a ground-breaking ceremony was held at the new facility.
Shuswap Lifeboat Society began setting aside personal, corporate and service club donations in 2014, and in 2017 the planning for a floating facility, as well as dedicated fundraising, began in earnest.
“These efforts have culminated in 2022, with over $100,000 accumulated in our restricted account for the rescue base, and receiving approval for a construction loan,” said Bruce Weicker, president of the Shuswap Lifeboat Society.
“The Columbia Shuswap Regional District, and member municipalities, the City of Salmon Arm, and the District of Sicamous are supporting this initiative by providing debt servicing for the loan. With the final piece of the financial plan in place, the awarding of a $250,000 grant by the BC Community Gaming Branch, we are now poised to proceed with construction in June.”
Station Leader Rob Sutherland said he is “excited about finally being able to centralize all of our assets in one protected area. The boathouse will save us time when deploying, provides security, and will protect our expensive rescue vessels from the harshness of winter and searing summer sun.”
Pat Gau, society vice-president said, “Using marine-grade aluminum and steel for structural stability will ensure our rescue base is sustainable for decades, and we are building it with Green in Mind.”
With no sod to turn over, the ground-breaking will be a symbolic first weld to an aluminum component of the rescue base by Rob Sutherland, who was Station Leader during the launch in 2012.