A blessing ceremony was held for the Tagwaal to officially welcome it into the Massett Marine Rescue fleet. (Jason Shafto photo)

A blessing ceremony was held for the Tagwaal to officially welcome it into the Massett Marine Rescue fleet. (Jason Shafto photo)

Brand new vessel for Massett Marine Rescue

The Tagwaal was unveiled to the public Sept. 6

Massett Marine Rescue held an open house on Friday to unveil their new fast-response rescue vessel, Tagwaal.

The event was held at the Masset Main Street Dock, with the community invited to give the new boat a look.

Christ Ashurst, a member of the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue Unit 45, said the volunteer group has been working for a while now to make this new vessel a reality.

The new boat will start service in October. (Jason Shafto photo)

“We run an open Zodiac, but that vessel is getting pretty old,” Ashurst explained of the SAR’s current boat, the NorthWard. “It’s about 15 years old now, and there are some significant repairs and upgrades that are required.”

“So we embarked on this project to get a new rescue vessel, a Type 2 Titan, custom built rescue vessel,” Ashurst said.

The public got a chance to check out Tagwaal at an open house in Masset last week. (Jason Shafto photo)

READ MORE: Massett Marine Rescue answers the call

The volunteer group covers a large area, including the Dixon Entrance, Northern Hecate Strait, the Masset Inlet, and many more waters around Haida Gwaii. In the 13 years that the NorthWard has been in operation, the SAR group has saved several lives, and rescued hundreds of boaters, or even wayward surfers, at sea.

Tagwaal is a Type 2 Titan vessel. (Jason Shafto photo)

“It’s much safer for our volunteers and much safer for the people we rescue,” Ashurst said of the new boat. “It has better capacity, and it can handle worse weather and bigger seas. It’s more maneuverable, and just all around a safer vehicle.”

The open house featured a traditional Haida welcoming and naming ceremony to bless the boat and give it a Haida name, Tagwaal.

(Jason Shafto photo)

READ MORE: Archipelago SAR rescues injured man near Tow Hill

Kihlguulaans Christian White and Illkaajaadkanas Yahgulaanas Candace White both led the ceremony.

Gwaii Trust, the Prince Rupert Port Authority and B.C. Gaming provided the major financial backing to help secure the boat. Tagwaal is currently undergoing some final touch-ups, including having specialized rescue equipment installed, and will be ready for service in October. The NorthWard will be operational for another year before retiring.


Alex Kurial | Journalist
Alex Kurial 
Send Alex email
Like the Haida Gwaii Observer on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter

MassetPort of Prince Rupert

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Murder charge laid in February 2020 stabbing death of Smithers man

Michael Egenolf is charged with the second-degree murder of Brodie Cumiskey

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

A health care worker prepares to test a Coastal GasLink field worker for COVID-19. (Coastal GasLink photo)
Coastal GasLink begins COVID screening of pipeline workers

Construction is once again ramping up following Northern Health approval of COVID management plan

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

Chris Paulson of Burns Lake took a quick selfie with a lynx over the weekend of Feb. 20-22, 2021, after the wild cat was found eating some of his chickens. (Chris Paulson/Facebook)
VIDEO: Burns Lake man grabs lynx by scruff after chickens attacked

‘Let’s see the damage you did, buddy,’ Chris Paulson says to the wild cat

Older rental apartments are prime candidates for renovations, and could result in lost affordable housing stock. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
B.C.’s renoviction overhaul a good start, but won’t preserve affordable stock, lawyer says

And still no protection for people who can’t pay rent due to COVID-19

(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
B.C. WHL teams to hit the ice with Kelowna, Kamloops hub cities

Kelowna, Kamloops centres chosen to host B.C. WHL teams for 24-game regular season

The machines are akin to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned to identify its unique vein pattern. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Feds dole out $3.5M for ‘vending machines’ to dispense safer opioids in B.C.

The machines are located in four cities across Canada, including Vancouver and Victoria

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Kelowna’s lakefront visitor centre is one of 130 around the province. Tourism businesses have been hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions on travel. (Destination B.C.)
Tourism, small business getting COVID-19 help, B.C. minister says

$300M grant program has delivered $50 million so far

The incident happened in downtown Castlegar. Photo: Betsy Kline
Castlegar teen recounts stabbing after stranger breaks into grandmother’s house

The unnamed teen survived a terrifying attack Feb. 21

(Black Press file photo)
Agassiz boy, 11, dies from ‘extensive injuries’: Homicide team

Agassiz RCMP were called out Friday to assist with a child in medical distress

Most Read