From left to right, SAR volunteers Colin Camire and Ian MacLean practice hauling Myriam Rioux into the Masset Marine Rescue boat using a basket stretcher. (Ross Hayes/Masset Marine Rescue)

Masset Marine Rescue rehearses a life-or-death skill

Self-rescue training follows deadly 2012 accident in Sechelt Rapid that killed two SAR volunteers.

Search-and-rescue volunteers took a cold dip in Masset Harbour last week.

One by one, all 19 members of Masset Marine Rescue simulated a life-or-death skill — getting out from under their Zodiac rescue boat if it ever flips over.

“There’s a pocket of air, but you need to get out,” says Ross Hayes, unit leader for the marine rescue group that serves northern Haida Gwaii.

Getting out from under a boat isn’t so easy while wearing rescue gear and a personal flotation device (PFD).

“You can be so buoyant that it’s hard to duck down and get under,” said Hayes.

Some members of Masset Marine Rescue had already tried similar drills at the Canadian Coast Guard school in Bamfield, on Vancouver Island. But starting this year, such drills are an annual requirement for every marine SAR volunteer in B.C.

The change comes in the wake of a deadly accident on the Sechelt Rapids in 2012, where two SAR volunteers drowned under a flipped Zodiac. Recovery crews found their life vests had caught on the overturned boat.

Hayes said the May 1 training was the first time Masset Marine Rescue has tried the drill here. Like the Bamfield school, they simulated a flipped Zodiac by mounting a pair of split garbage bins onto a plywood board and floating it off a dock.

Everyone made it under, said Hayes, which was heartening to see. Already soaked, they also tried a number of assisted and self-rescues.

“This brings the training home,” he said.

RELATED: Masset Marine Rescue answers the call

 

Masset Marine Rescue volunteer Myriam Rioux swims out from under a plastic bin in Masset Harbour, simulating what it’s like to swim out from under a flipped Zodiac while wearing a PFD and other rescue gear. (Ross Hayes/Masset Marine Rescue)

Just Posted

New hospital recruits more junior volunteers

Ten students from GidGalang Kuuyas Naay are volunteering at the Haida Gwaii Hospital/Ngaaysdll Naay.

Site C dam goes ahead, cost estimate now up to $10.7 billion

Premier John Horgan says Christy Clark left him no other choice

Girls volleyball team scores a first for Masset

Play five times a week, mixing in three kick-butt coaches, one lucky… Continue reading

Cullen holds off on Skeena-Bulkley Valley name change

MP Nathan Cullen says Skeena-Bulkey Valley will keep its name, for now.… Continue reading

Tlellagraph: In the wake of the Supermoon, Tlellian fortunes are told

By Janet Rigg A super moon and king tides will send the… Continue reading

VIDEO: Average Canadian food bill to rise by $348 in 2018

Atlantic Canada and B.C. will see the most increases for consumers

More than 20,000 pounds of garbage removed from riverside homeless camps

Two camps taken down last week on the banks of the Fraser and Chilliwack rivers

Suspect in Revelstoke standoff killed himself: RCMP

Mohammadali Darabi, suspect in the Calgary homicide of his roommate, was stopped in Revelstoke

Clinton visits Vancouver, applauds Trudeau, celebrates Democrats’ win in Alabama

Clinton told crowd she cheered when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appointed the country’s first gender-balanced cabinet.

VIDEO: Salt Spring Islanders ferry piano to their floating home

Everyone enjoys a little music on the water, but not everyone has a piano on their boat

Bomb detonated in Kamloops neighbourhood

Kamloops RCMP are investigating after an improvised explosive device was detonated Wednesday morning

No More Shootouts: Strong defence will be Canada’s backbone at world juniors

Head coach doesn’t want a situation where a hot goalie or a lucky bounce can determine a team’s fate

Proposed snowmobiles along Sicamous roads concern RCMP

RCMP, ICBC and province not yet on-board with proposed off-road bylaw in the B.C. Interior

‘Assemble your own meal’ kits grow into $120M industry in Canada

Kits offer a middle ground between eating out and grocery shopping

Most Read