Longtime volunteer and coxswain Alex Muir takes Lt. Gov. Judith Guichon for a spin during her 2015 visit to Oak Bay Sea Rescue. Photo courtesy Oak Bay Sea Rescue

Oak Bay Marina Restaurant hosts waterfront dinner for Oak Bay Sea Rescue fundraiser

Enjoy seafood and local fare while contributing to local search and rescue efforts

The Marina Restaurant offers an evening of fine dining on the waterfront Sept. 14, where all dinner and live silent auction proceeds go toward the purchase of a new vessel for Oak Bay’s RCM-SAR Station 33.

Often showing at events in the community, including the annual Oak Bay Tea Party, Voyageurs Paddle for the Kids, the Paddle for Health, Naden Fun Day, Oak Bay’s night market and more, the station presents its own this fall with hopes of engaging the community and raising money for their new rescue vessel. The station is advised by the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue to refit 10-year-old vessels and replace 20-year-old vessels. One of Oak Bay’s vessels, coming up on 20 years, has been the focus of the station’s fundraising campaigns this past year and will remain so until the $380 thousand necessary for a Type 1 Fast Response Vessel is raised.

“To the untrained eye, the whale-watching boats look like ours. But they don’t have the same gear,” said Terry Calveley, society president. As one of the busiest stations in the province, Oak Bay Sea Rescue vessels endure rough waters and are quick to need replacement when their time arrives. Crew living in Oak Bay and Saanich are responsible for responding to call-outs in Oak Bay, Cadboro Bay and even Cordova. “You can only refit to a point,” Calveley added.

The oldest vessel has served the Oak Bay Sea Rescue crew well for the past 20 years. Some value remains in older boats upon retirement from a major station, which means that Oak Bay’s vessel will likely be refitted and sold to a rural BC station that sees less call-outs for rescue missions and milder weather patterns. If not, Calveley said, it will be sold on the public market and funds will go toward future station campaigns.

Last fall, the Oak Bay station held a pre-launch fundraising dinner and intends to continue with the annual dinners going forward. “We like having an event that hopefully the community will love to come to, have a seafood meal on the waterfront, and take a look at the boats to see what they’re donating to,” Calveley said. She encourages those with appetites for fine seafood cuisine and those curious to see the current station vessels to purchase tickets to the dinner September 14. “The Marina Restaurant is an amazing venue, with amazing staff and chef. The cooks are fantastic. We have no doubt that the event is going to be a hit.”

Calveley and the Oak Bay Sea Rescue crew are grateful for continued support of the community. “I humbly thank our supporters, donors, community members and the municipality and public services for always having our back and supporting us the way they do. They recognize that we’re in the community and provide a really valuable service. This event is another way for people to give.”

Reserve tickets to the Sept. 14 dinner event at obsr.ca.

editor@oakbaynews.com