Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue

Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue
BC Search and Rescue Association

BC Search and Rescue Association
PEP Air

PEP Air

March 02, 2017 15:30 ET

Memorial Honours British Columbia's Search and Rescue Volunteers

VICTORIA, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - March 2, 2017) - A memorial to the British Columbia search and rescue volunteers who lost their lives in the line of duty has been unveiled on the grounds of the Legislative Buildings in Victoria. Seventeen volunteers have died during the past 50 years while taking part in search and rescue activities. There are more than 4,400 search and rescue (SAR) volunteers active in the province today.

The memorial is a joint project by the three organizations representing land, marine, and aviation SAR volunteers: the BC Search and Rescue Association, Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue, and PEP Air.

"British Columbia is one of the most challenging search and rescue regions in the world, and this memorial will be a reminder of the vital role that highly trained and dedicated volunteers play in the public safety system in our province," said Pat Quealey, CEO of Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue. "This joint project is also symbolic of the close partnership our volunteer organizations have with each other and with the federal, provincial and local agencies which call upon us to respond during emergencies."

The B.C. Search and Rescue Volunteer Memorial has been installed near memorials to police, fire and ambulance personnel on the south-east side of the Legislative Buildings. The three volunteer SAR organizations raised more than $100,000 to cover the cost of the polished black and grey marble monument. The Speaker of the Legislature provided support with site preparation.

Local ground search teams, Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue crews, and PEP Air pilots and crews collectively respond to more than 2,000 incidents every year, saving many lives. Volunteers log a total of more than 280,000 training and mission hours each year.

"Trained volunteers are often the first - and sometimes only - rescuers to arrive to help people in trouble," said Chris Kelly, President of the BC Search and Rescue Association. "This monument is a solemn reminder that despite extensive safety programs their work can still be dangerous. It is also a lasting tribute to the volunteers who lost their lives to help others."

"As volunteers we receive no payment, but dedicate our time and skills to helping our communities," said Alton King, Director of PEP Air. "We are pleased this memorial will honour all those who serve."

BACKGROUNDER

THE ORGANIZATIONS BEHIND THE SEARCH AND RESCUE MEMORIAL

Search and rescue (SAR) in British Columbia has three categories: air, marine and ground. The British Columbia Search and Rescue Volunteer Memorial is a joint project by the three organizations that represent volunteers in each of those SAR categories.

PEP Air

The Provincial Emergency Program Air (PEP Air) is a province-wide volunteer aviation association that promotes aviation safety and provides air search support services to the National Search and Rescue Program. PEP Air has more than 75 aircraft crewed by more than 500 volunteer pilots, spotters and navigators. Crews assist the Canadian Armed Forces, RCMP and other emergency agencies in searching for aircraft, boaters, hikers and others. www.embc-air.org

Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue

With a focus on excellence in community-based marine safety, RCMSAR's more than 1,000 members operate 35 stations on the west coast and in the Interior. Volunteer marine rescue crews respond to an average of 800 emergencies on the water every year. That is about a third of all marine incidents on the west coast. RCMSAR supports the Canadian Coast Guard and is tasked by the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Victoria. Crews operate a range of fast response vessels designed and built in British Columbia for the challenges of our rugged coastline. www.rcmsar.com

The BC Search and Rescue Association

BCSARA represents 80 search and rescue groups and more than 2,500 volunteers who conduct ground search and rescue throughout British Columbia. The organization serves as a liaison between Emergency Management British Columbia, the RCMP, local police and other agencies. Ground search and rescue volunteers respond to about 1,500 incidents per year. Their assistance can be requested by police, the BC Ambulance Service, BC Coroners Service, fire departments, the Canadian Armed Forces and Parks Canada. www.bcsara.com

BACKGROUNDER

In Memory

The British Columbia Search and Rescue Volunteer Memorial honours those who have lost their lives in the line of duty. It also honours all those who serve. The memorial is in memory of:

LYLE SAUNDERS - 14 July 1967
PEP Air - CF-SHK Merritt
GARY DANIELS - 14 July 1967
PEP Air - CF-SHK Merritt
VICTOR E HANUSE - 28 March 1970
PEP Air - CF-ABA Alert Bay
ALFRED BENJAMIN HUNT - 28 March 1970
PEP Air - CF-ABA Alert Bay
REGINALD RICHARD HUNT - 28 March 1970
PEP Air - CF-ABA Alert Bay
NORMAN WILSON - 28 March 1970
PEP Air - CF-ABA Alert Bay
JOHN CRAIG - 01 October 1983
PEP Air - C-FWXH Cranbrook
CYNTHIA GRIFFITH - 01 October 1983
PEP Air - C-FWXH Cranbrook
ROBERT (Bob) MCGREGOR - 05 August 1989
BCSARA - North Shore Rescue
ERIC BUSS -27 November 1991
BCSARA - Bulkley Valley Search and Rescue
MARCEL ANDRIE - 30 April 1994
BCSARA - Lions Bay Search and Rescue
RICK AYOTTE - 07 July 1996
PEP Air - C-GHWH Nelson
WILLIAM (Bill) BING - 07 July 1996
PEP Air - C-GHWH Nelson
RICK DENDYS - 07 July 1996
PEP Air - C-GHWH Nelson
SHEILAH SWEATMAN - 29 June 2011
BCSARA - Nelson Search and Rescue
ANGIE NEMETH - 03 June 2012
RCMSAR - Halfmoon Bay
BEATRICE SORENSEN - 03 June 2012
RCMSAR - Halfmoon Bay

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