New name, new look

  • Jun. 11, 2012 2:00 p.m.

The Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary has a new name and a new look, designed to clear up the confusion between the auxiliary’s volunteers and the federal government’s Coast Guard. The new name is the “Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue”. Chris Ashurst, the unit leader for the group’s Massett station, said he welcomes the change. “Nobody could get it straight,” he said of the old name and its connection with the Coast Guard. “Even on Haida Gwaii, almost every reference to Coast Guard Auxiliary was muddied… I’m constantly correcting people.” The newly re-named Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue organization is composed entirely of volunteers, who maintain rescue boats and other equipment and respond to emergency situations out on the water. Mr. Ashurst said the new name won’t bring about any changes to how the volunteers operate, but he’s hoping it could help with fundraising by clarifying the group’s role. The 20 or so volunteers at the Massett station respond to about six or eight incidents a year, Mr. Ashurst said – some serious and some not so much. Last summer, the volunteers came to the aid of a broken-down vessel in the Tow Hill area, and towed it back to Masset. About a month ago, he said, volunteers spent an entire day out searching after receiving reports that a flare had been seen on North Beach, but found nothing.