Photo courtesy RCMSAR Richmond
The fourth annual Royal Canadian Marine Search-and-Rescue fundraiser at the Britannia Heritage Shipyard Seine Net Loft drew some 150 people on Sept. 9 and raised about $10,000.
That money will support training of the search-and-rescue volunteer members who keep safe everyone who uses the waters off Steveston and Richmond, according to Aaron Harnden, past station leader and boat coxswain.
Whatever isn’t used to fund the training of volunteers will be added to the fund for a new $800,000 replacement vessel.
Harnden said the new all-weather lifeboat they are eying is a rigid hull inflatable that’s self-righting.
“If it goes over, it goes back up,” he explained.
The volunteer crew’s current vessel has limitations to weather, and is not re-righting, he added.
“If we can keep safe, then we’re more likely to be able to help others,” he said.
Seeing so many people buy tickets and organizations make donations to the fundraiser is incredibly inspiring and a testament to how much the community appreciates the volunteer work they do, putting their lives at risk each time they go out to try to help others.
Funds were raised through a raffle, silent and live auctions, and ticket sales.
But with a goal of raising $800,000, there’s still plenty of work ahead, he said.
All of the equipment and specialized clothing used by the volunteers is purchased thanks to fundraising efforts or government grants, he said.