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

Just Posted

PHOTO GALLERY: Masset takes off on Terry Fox Run

More than $1,000 raised for Terry Fox Foundation

B.C. offers early retirement, training fund for forest workers

Communities eligible for $100,000 for permanent closures

Prince Rupert’s ferry issue is a North Coast issue, MLA Rice

Prince Rupert not alone in fight to save ferry to Ketchikan: Alaskan Rep. Ortiz

Brand new vessel for Massett Marine Rescue

The Tagwaal was unveiled to the public Sept. 6

First Nations given max compensation for Ottawa’s child-welfare discrimination

2016 ruling said feds didn’t give same funding for on-reserve kids as was given to off-reserve kids

Third instance of Trudeau in skin-darkening makeup emerges

Another instance of Trudeau using makeup to darken his face has emerged, within 24 hours of the first

Nelson man accused of swimming naked at Toronto aquarium expected to plead guilty

David Weaver, of Nelson, was arrested and charged in October of last year

VIDEO: Party leaders react to Trudeau’s brownface photo bombshell

Fallout from Justin Trudeau’s brownface photo, and two other instances, sure to dominate campaign

35 of 87 dogs in 2018 Williams Lake seizure were euthanized, BC SPCA confirm

The dogs did not respond to the behaviour modification and remained terrified of humans

B.C. ‘tent city’ disputes spark call for local government autonomy

UBCM backs Maple Ridge after province overrules city

B.C. drug dealers arrested after traffic stop near Banff turns into helicopter pursuit

Antonio Nolasco-Padia, 23, and Dina Anthony, 55, both well-known to Chilliwack law enforcement

B.C. MLA calls on province to restrict vaping as first related illness appears in Canada

Todd Stone, Liberal MLA for Kamloops-South Thompson, introduced an anti-vaping bill in April

Most Read