WHO WE ARE
Station 35, a.k.a. RCM-SAR 35, is a group of highly skilled volunteers who dedicate their time to providing 24-hour year-round emergency search and rescue services on the Victoria waterfront and beyond.
In turn, we rely on community support to keep our crews equipped and our rescue vessel on call.
Together with the Canadian Coast Guard and other local emergency service providers, we’re here to make sure that help is always available to mariners in distress.
Our volunteers are hard working individuals who have come together out of a love for the sea and a desire to be of service to their community.
Our mission is to assist the boating community in marine emergencies, to increase awareness of boating safety in the local community, and to provide our members with the appropriate training and equipment to carry out their activities in support of the Canadian Coast Guard and the local community.
Crew members volunteer to be on call for shifts – typically one week of evenings and the adjacent weekend or for 10 weekdays per month depending on what suits their lifestyle and fits their schedule. During that time they commit to remaining within 15 minutes of the rescue vessel and are ready to respond 24 hours a day.
They carry their cell phones or pagers which are activated by the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC) in the event of an emergency. It is common for crews to already be on the water training when they receive a call.
The Spirit of James Bay is Station 35’s primary fast response craft (FRC); a new RCM-SAR Type 1. It is locally designed and built for the waters off Victoria. This vessel can go up to 40 knots (74 Km/h) and is rated to go out for 40-knot winds and 10-foot seas. The Station 35 members chose the name because it captures their relationship with the community of James Bay in Victoria.
Our area extends out from the Victoria shoreline to Sooke in the west and over to Oak Bay in the east.
The Victoria, Oak Bay and Sooke stations work cooperatively to provide coverage around southern Vancouver Island. During busy periods it is common for a station to respond to calls outside its area.
We provide all of the training needed to become a crew member on the rescue boat. Some of our members have extensive backgrounds in marine activities, and while prior experience is preferred it is not a prerequisite and we welcome anyone dedicated and committed to our cause! We also look for “train the trainer” opportunities so that our members can share their skills and broaden our training program.
Search and Rescue Navigation 1 & 2
Small Vessel Operator Proficiency
Simulated Electronic Navigation (Limited)
Marine Emergency Duties (A3)
Rigid Hull Inflatable Operator Training
Incident Command System
Critical Incident Stress Management
Marine Advance First Responder
Limited funding for training and the some reimbursement of certain operating expenses during missions is provided by Canadian Coast Guard but the vast majority of funding for all other expenses such as our vessels, equipment and moorage are provided through donations and specific fundraising events. Donations are tax-deductible and are used for the purchase and upgrade of equipment and training. The Victoria Marine Rescue Society is responsible for these funds.