Kitsilano S&R proves base’s worth

English Bay rescue once again proves the value of S&R.

Dear editor,

On August 4, the Kitsilano Search and Rescue (S&R) base once again proved its effectiveness at dealing with marine emergencies as Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) specialists were first on the scene after a cruise ship carrying 250 passengers collided with two boats during a fireworks show in Vancouver’s English Bay. I wish to offer my congratulations to the S&R specialists for their quick and effective response. Their longstanding commitment to keeping the people of Vancouver’s harbour safe is cause for celebration and admiration. Unfortunately, the federal government made a decision to close this base in 2013, for minimal cost savings.

The recent incident in English Bay highlights the necessity to keep the base open. Thankfully, the collision did not result in any serious injuries, but Coast Guard responders arrived quickly, ready to respond to any crisis. Kitsilano S&R specialists provide an essential emergency response service in some of the nation’s busiest waterways. If the government decides to go ahead with the base closure, the nearest response team will be stationed 17 nautical miles away in Richmond—which means longer response times, especially in rough weather, and greater chance of disaster.

At my recent community meeting on the issue of the closure, citizens as well as marine safety professionals emphasized the importance of the base to Vancouver’s safety. To this end, I introduced a motion in the House of Commons, motion M-396, calling on the government to recognize the importance of the Kitsilano CCG base to the area’s emergency preparedness, and to retain its current operational level.

This is not a partisan issue—it is about public safety. The government must not wait for disaster to strike to acknowledge the need for skilled S&R responders at the Kitsilano base. They should move immediately to reverse their decision, which otherwise will result in preventable deaths merely to save a few dollars.

Joyce Murray, MP

Liberal Party of Canada Critic for Small Business and Tourism

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Creekside Apartments gets utility charge relief from Port Hardy council

The apartment building is undergoing restoration from a fire that happened back in 2017.

LETTER: It’s a labour of love keeping the Port Alice golf course running

‘We North Islanders are indeed fortunate to have two gorgeous golf club’

Mowi’s B.C. salmon farms achieve environmental certification from independent watchdog

Aquaculture Steward Council certification complies with 500 sustainability and social measures

Island Health provides Baby Beds for infants north of the Malahat

A safe place for baby to sleep is key to reduce sleep-related deaths

Author chronicles churches built by pioneers in the Salish Sea

B.C. author Liz Bryan preserving a little bit of pioneer history in her latest book

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

VIDEO: Vancouver Island cat missing 18 months reunited with family

Blue the cat found at Victoria museum 17 kilometres from home

VIDEO: Alberta man rescues baby eagle believed to be drowning in East Kootenay lake

Brett Bacon was boating on a lake in Windermere when he spotted the baby eagle struggling in the water

Vancouver Island business ad unintentionally features OK gesture linked to white supremacy

Innocuous ‘OK’ gesture in cleaning franchise advertisement gets flak on social media for ‘supposedly’ promoting white supremacy

Minivan driver’s speed a factor in fatal 2018 Malahat crash

Driver was travelling at 110 km/h in a construction zone

Comox Valley RCMP looking for missing woman

Ami Guthrie was last seen in Courtenay in early July

Conservationists raise concerns over state of care for grizzly cubs transferred to B.C. zoo

‘Let them be assessed now before their fate is sealed,’ urges B.C. conservationist Barb Murray

B.C.’s COVID-19 job recovery led by tourism, finance minister says

Okanagan a bright spot for in-province visitor economy

National Kitten Day aka the ‘purrfect’ day to foster a new friend

July 10 marks National Kitten Day, a special day to celebrate all things kittens

Most Read