The Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue Station #34 is moving to Cowichan Bay.
The station has been located at Brentwood College School in Mill Bay since it was founded in 1988.
A press release from RCM-SAR Station #34 said the reason for the move to Cowichan Bay is primarily recruitment.
“With a larger catchment area, that includes a large part of Duncan, we will be well placed to recruit new members,” the release said.
“We will also be highly visible in Cowichan Bay, and an everyday part of the community. We will still be covering the same area for marine emergencies; from the Saanich Inlet in the south, to Crofton in the north, and east past Swartz Bay towards Pender Island.”
RCM-SAR Station 34 provides year-round marine search and rescue services to commercial mariners, recreational boaters and the general public.
Its volunteer members train extensively in specialized search and rescue techniques to maintain a level of professionalism that is expected by the communities it serves and partner agencies such as the Canadian Coast Guard, Land Search and Rescue, RCMP, and Ambulance Services.
Despite the move, RCM-SAR Station #34 said its strong support for Brentwood College School will continue with its support for the school’s regatta and other community events in future years.
“The Mill Bay Marine Group has also been a generous supporter for our station, and we hope to continue partnering with them for the annual fishing derby and other events,” the release said.
The release said RCM-SAR Station #34 has purchased a 54-foot boathouse and relocated it from Maple Bay to Cowichan Bay on May 12.
“The Cowichan Bay Fisherman’s Wharf have generously offered us mooring on their dock, and the Oceanfront Suites have kindly offered us parking for our crew,” the statement said.
“This means we are well set to make the move, with the boathouse conversion the last remaining task. To meet all these needs, we are going to require community support to fund the continued work. You [the public] have been generous with your support in the past, and we hope we can rely on you with this new challenge.”
The release said RCM-SAR Station #34 has estimated the remaining costs of the boathouse conversion will be approximately $73,800, and includes a $40,000 boat-lift inside of the boathouse to get their vessel out of the water.