WHO WE ARE
In 1978, various Canadian volunteer marine search and rescue groups created the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary. In British Columbia, the regional not-for-profit association was called the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary – Pacific (CCGA-P). CCGA-P was established as a registered charitable organization and permitted to issue tax receipts to individual and corporate donors. IRoyal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue (RCMSAR) is a not-for-profit volunteer-based organization that operates more than 30 marine rescue stations along the coast of British Columbia from Vancouver’s busy harbour to the remote waters of the North Coast. RCMSAR is a key part of the marine search and rescue (SAR) system, working in one of the most challenging search and rescue regions in the world. Our 900 volunteers are on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, ready to immediately respond to marine emergencies at a moment’s notice.
In 1978, various Canadian volunteer marine search and rescue groups created the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary. In British Columbia, the regional not-for-profit association was called the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary – Pacific (CCGA-P). CCGA-P was established as a registered charitable organization and permitted to issue tax receipts to individual and corporate donors. In 2012, a name change to The Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue was made to reflect our distinct identity but our mission remains the same – saving lives on the water.
OUR VISION & VALUES
Our vision is excellence in community-based marine safety.
The core of our operations, our values are built on:
- Safety: our top priority and the forefront of all of activities from our Safety Management System to our thorough internal regulatory body and the Safety and Training Board.
- Volunteerism: The spirit of volunteerism and sense of service to communities and individuals in need are at the heart of what motivates our members.
- Professionalism: Our people, the quality of our operations and training, our equipment and our learning culture are all elements of the professionalism that distinguishes RCMSAR.
- Community: We foster connection in the communities in which support our stations and to a broader community of responders who contribute to the safety of people in British Columbia.
- Trust: The continued trust of the people who we serve and of our partners is the greatest measure of our effectiveness.
WHAT WE DO
RCMSAR’s mission is to save lives on the water.
Our volunteers provide marine search and rescue through partnership and collaboration with the communities of British Columbia, federal and provincial governments, Indigenous, industry and other agencies. Our crews are highly trained and equipped with specialized rescue vessels designed for the marine challenges of the West Coast.
How We Save Lives
Through an agreement with the Canadian Coast Guard we are called out to marine emergencies by the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Victoria. We are also available to provide support for on the water humanitarian aid when called upon by provincial authorities. Our volunteer base is managed by station leaders and local governance boards at each individual station with oversight and support from RCMSAR headquarters in Sooke BC.
We don’t just respond to emergencies, we work to prevent them. RCMSAR volunteers provide boating safety information, pleasure craft safety checks, and a loaner program for kids’ lifejackets at many docks and marinas.
RCM SAR volunteers conduct on average one third of all marine rescues each year. Thanks to the support of our partners and donors, our volunteers stand ready to leave their jobs and their families to help people in trouble on the water – saving the lives of hundreds of people and thousands of dollars in property each year.