May 18 to 24 was Canada’s National Safe Boating Awareness Week. Along with festivities and fun events the Canadian Safe Boating Council sent out a safety message that most boating accidents are avoidable, if operators follow safety guidelines.
Castlegar Search and Rescue will also be out on the local waterways with their jet boat and Sea-Doos. They have a dedicated team of swift water personnel, as well as boat and Sea-Doo operators.
Each pilot needs to log 20 hours of operation time to remain operational. Some techniques they practice are quick, very sharp turns; pinning (holding the bow to a grounded point or pillar); and rescue of people. When this training is occurring it is easy to mistake the practice of making sharp turns as doing “doughnuts” or pinning as “doing nothing.”
Search and rescue was out practicing on Mother’s Day and later received notification that they had disturbed some members of the public by practicing sharp turns.
“We apologize for this, as it is never our intent to interfere with anyone’s pleasure of being outdoors,” the group said in a news release. “We are very open to receiving public input on how we can improve our services to our community.”
If you have comments, you can call the president at 250-226-6927. New members are being accepted and the group will provide the provincial ground search and rescue training course this fall.
If you are interested in search and rescue, but do not wish to be in the field, the group is also interested in members who would assist at their mobile command post. Specific duties are radio communication, computer technician, incident bookkeeper, accountant and general assistant. Now is an ideal time to join search and rescue. Just call the above number to get all the information you need.
To check out the operations base and equipment, please drop by their open house on Wednesday, July 31 at 6 p.m. for hots dogs and refreshments. They are located at 202 Beresford Road in Blueberry (the old fire hall).