The Oak Bay Sea Rescue Society includes approximately 45 volunteers whose primary role is saving lives on the water and promoting boating safety. The group is continuing to raise funds toward the approximately $175,000 cost of the new Rescue Station.
A fairly unassuming galvanized metal building, the Oak Bay Sea Rescue Society’s new rescue station has modernized the non-profit within days of being installed.
“It’s pretty amazing,” said OBSR society president Terry Calveley. “Oh my gosh, we have to hold off the crew from putting their stuff in until the finishing touches are done.”
Built by Oak Bay Marine Group at its site in Ladysmith, the new rescue station was docked in early August and pilings were driven in to hold the station in place last week.
The new building includes a hoist to lift the boat completely out of the water for repairs and maintenance, a mezzanine level for crew training and rescue triage and a dry, or “ready” room where crew equipment and safety gear can be safely stowed.
“(The hoist) keeps it out of the water so (it retards) bottom growth. We’re able to do maintenance work here without putting it on the hard,” said deputy station leader and coxswain Kim Benson. The new station also includes fresh water hoses to clean the boat which will increase its lifespan.
“The previous boat house served its purpose, it was gifted to another station … Gibson’s Landing – even though it was old for us, it is new for them,” said Calveley.
The ready room and mezzanine are heated spaces, so crew members are no longer required to take gear home to dry out. They can also train in the new, larger rescue station.
“It’s a far cry from what we had before,” said Calveley. “People used to have to carry their gear home and hang it in their garage or basement to dry. This is a far better set up – everything will last longer.”
The Oak Bay Sea Rescue Society is an integral part of the volunteer Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue and services the ocean waters to Cordova Bay, Island View Beach and the surrounding islands.
The group is continuing to raise funds to pay for the rescue station. If you are interested in donating or want to learn more about the project go to obsr.ca, or contact Calveley at 250-896-2625.