Jason Hodge of the Oak Bay Firefighter Charitable Foundation, bottom left, with members of Oak Bay Sea Rescue, clockwise, Justin Stephenson, John Horvatin, Jurgen Pokrandt, Ed Walker (with tongs) and Monica Sager. Oak Bay firefighters will donate proceeds from the June 22 Sausage Fest to Oak Bay Sea Rescue. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

Oak Bay Sausagefest 2019 to buoy Sea Rescue program

Firefighters’ June 22 charity event will support marine responders

For land-based response, Oak Bay relies on its fire department but for marine response, the Oak Bay Sea Rescue team of volunteers are a lifeline for the local boating community.

That’s why the Oak Bay Firefighters Charitable Foundation has chosen to support them with proceeds from this year’s Sausage Fest, taking place on Saturday, June 22, from noon until 9 p.m. at Willows Beach.

“When it comes to marine response Oak Bay Sea Rescue are it, and they’re a volunteer-based organization, so it’s an easy decision for us to support them,” said Jason Hodge, executive director of Oak Bay Firefighters Charitable Foundation.

READ MORE: Sun shines on Sausage Fest in Oak Bay

Technically, Oak Bay Sea Rescue isn’t the only responder in the area but they are the go-to, and it would cost millions to replace the program (the RCMP, Coast Guard, and Oak Bay Fire Department also assist in offshore service). It remains at Oak Bay Marina where it started in 1977 when the late Bob Wright banded together with others, using their own boats, to create a marine rescue service. The marina provided the space at no cost and today the Oak Bay Sea Rescue Society remains a volunteer-run entity that is completely funded by grants and donations.

“It’s expensive to run the program, the boats and engines last about 10 years,” said secretary Cathy Stephenson. “We rely on community donations like Sausage Fest to keep our program going.”

They recently finished fundraising for a new $450,000 rescue boat that won’t be ordered until later this summer and will arrive part way through 2020. They also just finished purchasing a pair of engines for the current boat at $25,000 each.

The team also added a set of dry suits to the inventory this year.

READ ALSO: Firefighters, Kiwanis contribute to Monterey’s new playground climber

Throughout the day all 26 members of the Oak Bay fire hall will station themselves at barbecues to cook at this year’s Sausage Fest. Meat comes from Oak Bay businesses including The Village Butcher, Slater’s Meats, Whole Beast and Red Barn with a vegan option from The Very Good Butcher in the Public Market at the Hudson.

Lighthouse will provide craft beer and cider will also be available. There is a bouncy castle, face painting, and other activities offered.

The Oak Bay Firefighters Charitable Foundation donates to a variety of causes including bursaries for Oak Bay High students and to the B.C. Professional Firefighters Burn Fund. In recent years Sausage Fest has helped fund Monterey middle school’s new playground equipment.

reporter@oakbaynews.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

RCMP confirm foul play in death of 60-year-old Metchosin man

Police believe crime an isolated incident

Mercury tops out on top of the world: Alert in Nunavut warmer than Victoria

It’s the latest anomaly in what’s been a long, hot summer across the Arctic

BC Ferries’ top boss helps clean Willows Beach

Old shoe, men’s underpants and too many cigarette butts on Willows

Victoria businesses remain plastic-bag free, despite court ruling

Business association says no one has inquired into re-establishing the use of plastic bags

‘Bad choices make good stories’: Margaret Trudeau brings her show to Just for Laughs

Trudeau says over the decades she has been suicidal, manic, depressed

Garneau ‘disappointed’ in airlines’ move against new passenger bill of rights

New rules codified compensation for lost luggage, overbooked flights

Canadian is detained in China on drug allegations: Chinese government

Detention of a Canadian in China comes as part a diplomatic dispute triggered by arrest of Huawei exec Meng Wanzhou

Rare white ravens spotted again in mid-Island

Nature photographer Mike Yip said mysterious birds back in Coombs area

CO’s call off efforts to trap bear who attacked North Island man

Woss man recuperating after incident on remote logging road

Too much time on social media can hurt teens’ mental health: study

Researchers conducted a four-year survey of more than 3,800 adolescents between Grades 7 and 11

Advocates want charges in horse deaths during Calgary Stampede chuckwagon races

Chuckwagon races are a nightly spectacle during the Stampede, a 10-day annual celebration of western life

ICBC insurance renewals get more complicated this year

Crash history, driver risk prompt more reporting requirements

Diversity a Canadian strength, Trudeau says of Trump tweets at congresswomen

Trudeau avoided using Trump’s name when he was asked about the president’s Twitter comments

Most Read