Salt Spring’s RCMSAR unit goes high tech
By SEAN HITREC
Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue Station 25 boasts recently refit communications equipment and is looking for new volunteers to help keep the waters around Salt Spring Island safe.
When racing to the scene of a marine emergency in their rigid hull inflatable vessel, RCMSAR volunteers can reach speeds of 30 knots, which makes communication difficult without the right equipment.
Approximately one year ago, that problem was solved with the purchase of new marine rescue helmets funded by the Salt Spring Foundation and the Lions Club. The helmets not only cancel out the screaming wind noise RCMSAR members hear while travelling but allow them to use both hands for rescue tasks.
“[The old microphones] were great up to about 20 knots and then it was just the wind noise and it wasn’t useful, so this allows us to have full situational awareness,” said unit leader Nic Futter.
Futter explained the importance of the new helmets being hands free.
“If we’re towing somebody or going to set up a tow, another crew person has a helmet on, they hop onto that boat and they can be talking hands free, whereas before they had to be clicking on their microphone to be talking to us,” Futter said. “So they can be tying up a tie or doing first aid and both their hands are free to be doing their task.”
For more on this story, plus a full Safe Boating feature section and salute to RCMSAR Station 25 volunteers, see the June 7, 2017 issue of the Driftwood paper.