Ottawa, Ontario – The Canadian Coast Guard plays a vital role in ensuring the safety of mariners and the marine environment. The $1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan includes measures to improve marine safety and protect Canada’s marine environment and coastal communities.
As part of this new plan, the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, has announced the creation of an Inshore Rescue Boat station in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut which will provide seasonal search and rescue capabilities in that region. Establishing this new station is a step towards building stronger working relationships with northern communities, and is an important indicator for how Coast Guard services will be delivered in the Arctic.
The station will be operated by Indigenous students from Arctic communities, initially under the leadership of an experienced Coast Guard officer until the crews have gotten enough experience to operate without a supervisor. Crew members will undergo initial training alongside their southern-station counterparts in Ontario. This initial training will include Canada’s national search and rescue system, search patterns, boat handling, marine first aid, and radio communication.
Members of the Coast Guard were in Nunavut, the Northwest Territories and the Nunavik region of Quebec in October to engage with community members and interested candidates about the requirements of the job, and to encourage eligible candidates to apply.
Input was received from local governments and community leaders on the choice of Rankin Inlet as the location for the station, and the Government of Canada will continue to involve partners and stakeholders as the construction plans for the permanent station building progress.
“Our government is proud of the enhanced local capacity the historic Oceans Protection Plan will provide to communities from coast to coast to coast. The Inshore Rescue Boat station in Rankin Inlet makes us better prepared and better equipped to deal with emergencies in the Arctic. Through this new station, and through the local youth who will operate it, we are providing a strong foundation for the expansion of local maritime search and rescue response across the Arctic,” states The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, P.C., Q.C., M.P., Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard.
- An interim boat station in Rankin Inlet is expected to be fully operational in summer 2018.
- The new station in Rankin Inlet will improve search and rescue capacity in the area and reduce response times.
- This is the Canadian Coast Guard’s 26th inshore rescue boat station across Canada and the first in the Arctic.
- In the regions where they operate, Inshore Rescue Boat crews are often the first to respond to distress calls from mariners or to those in need of assistance. The crews of these boats also provide public education on boating safety.