The Canadian Coast Guard’s Inshore Rescue Boat stations on the Great Lakes, Georgian Bay and St. Lawrence River are now open.
Each Inshore Rescue Boat station is crewed by post-secondary students hired and trained by the Canadian Coast Guard. They provide additional maritime search and rescue service during the busy summer recreational boating season. The Inshore Rescue Boat stations are located at Britt and Brebeuf Island (Georgian Bay), Hill Island (St. Lawrence River), Port Lambton (St. Clair River), Thames River (Lake St. Clair) and Long Point (Lake Erie).
The Canadian Coast Guard continues to maintain search and rescue operations during this time. Across Ontario, the Canadian Coast Guard has lifeboat stations crewed by Canadian Coast Guard personnel in Thunder Bay, Tobermory, Meaford, Goderich, Amherstburg, Port Dover, Port Weller, Cobourg and Kingston.
Ashore, Canadian Coast Guard Marine Communications and Traffic Services centres in Sarnia and Prescott provide marine safety communications, while the response to each search and rescue case is co-ordinated by the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Trenton.
Waterways remain very cold at this time of year and take much longer to warm up compared to the air. Transport Canada’s Safe Boating Guide is an excellent source of information in preparation for the recreational boating season. The Safe Boating Guide can be found here.
Emergencies on the water can be reported 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, toll-free (within Canada) at 1-800-267-7270, or via marine VHF radio – channel 16.
Search and rescue is an essential service. During a search and rescue response, crew members are required to work in very close proximity to each other and members of the public. If members of the public encounter search and rescue crews, please notify them of any flu-like symptoms, or other symptoms that align with COVID-19. During regular operations, crews are taking all precautions to work at further distances from each other, in line with the advice of health professionals.
SOURCE Canadian Coast Guard