Welcome to
RCM-SAR Station Sooke

We are a key part of the marine search and rescue system, and we work in one of the most challenging search and rescue regions in the world.  Our local volunteers handle, on average, more than 35 marine emergencies every year.

Most of the funding for this vital public safety service comes from generous donations from individuals, companies, and community grants.  Your contribution helps us keep up our training so we are safe and effective. 

Terms and Conditions

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On-call 24/7

You will be paged in the middle of the night and respond to emergencies in weather and sea conditions that most mariners avoid. 

Highly Skilled

You will be called on to navigate in fog and darkness. Operate a rescue vessel in high wind and waves. Use your first aid skills.

Highly Rewarding

The men and women who take on this task say the rewards of saving a life on the water are beyond measure.

Save Lives!

Our lifeboat crews need dedicated, professional and talented people behind them.

This is your chance to join that team and help save lives every day, whatever your background.

What's in it for you?

RCM-SAR provides first class training and equipment, guidance and support. Volunteering with us offers you the opportunity to make a difference in your local community.

How much time do I need to give?

Being part of a lifeboat crew is a major commitment. Your commitment isn’t only measured in the time spent involved in rescues. Regular training  also accounts for much of your spare time.

What are we capable of ?

We rescue people. What we do is pretty simple but in the same time incredibly complex and professional.

All Weather Lifeboat

The “Spirit of Sooke V” is a Falkins Class Type II re-righting vessel with a top speed of 40knts and is intended to withstand winds of 50 knots and seas in excess of 3.5 metres allowing crews to save lives in all weather conditions.

State-of-the-art Electronics

We utilize many tools on-board our vessel when we perform searchs and/or rescues. We have GPS Plotters, Radar, FLIR (Infrared Camera), Radio Direction Finder, O2, Defib and first aid equipment plus much more.

Inter-agency Operations

We certainly don’t do it alone. We work closely with the Canadian Coast Guard, JRCC, Canadian Air Force, local rescue services such as BC Ambulance, Fire Rescue and Ground SAR as well the Canadian Navy and US Coast Guard.

Our Training

We provide the best training possible for our crews to protect their safety and provide top-notch search and rescue service to the public. Our crews face vast coverage areas, west coast weather and sea conditions andthe unpredictable nature of marine emergencies. It is important that all our crews are trained to respond safely and professionally. We combine our own comprehensive training programs with several recognized Transport Canada certifications.

Our Training Includes:

  • PCOC, ROC-M, SFA Level "C" with AED
  • Marine Advanced First-Aid / First Responders
  • Transport Canada SVOP, MED A3 and SEN-L
  • SARCOMM, CISM, and ICS
  • SARNav1, SARNav2
  • CCG RHIOT

We need your help!

Our Station relies on your donations to keep our equipment new and our crew safe. Please consider making a donation.

Links will open up to a secure on-line donation company, Canada Helps.

Fair Winds

$1000One-time donation

  • Helps fuel our boat
  • Keeps our crews trained
  • Helps pay for moorage

Gale

$2000One-time donation

  • Buys Personal Knife
  • Buys Personal Heliograph
  • Buys Personal Flashlight

Hurricane

$10000One-time donation

  • Helps buy Personal Helmet
  • Helps buy Personal Radio
  • Helps with vessel repairs

Or please consider making a larger, personal donation to help our Station with on-going safety equipment, electronics and maintenance costs. Your donation can help save lives.

Email us for more donation information

Email: station37@rcmsar.com for more details.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Are you part of the Coast Guard?

No, we’re not part of the Canadian Coast Guard, although we work closely with them.

We used to be known as the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary, and many people assumed we were part of the Coast Guard even though we have always been a separate organization.  Our new name helps to clear up that confusion.

We receive great support from the Coast Guard, including some funding for training and missions.  Our coxswains train at the Coast Guard’s demanding Rigid Hull Inflatable Operator Training (RHIOT) school in Bamfield.  We receive our search and rescue taskings from the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Victoria, which is jointly operated by the Canadian Forces and the Canadian Coast Guard.  When we’re on a call we communicate with Coast Guard staff at the Marine Traffic and Communications Services centres.   And we’re always looking for opportunities to train with the Coast Guard so that we’re an effective partnership on the water.

So while we’re not part of Coast Guard, we have lots of connections with them and share a common goal of public safety on the water.

1. What is the training like?

The level of training that we receive is unparalleled. The training starts before you even step on the boat.  Each member is trained in first aid, has a basic Pleasure Craft Operator Card, and obtains a Radio Operator’s Certificate – Maritime.  These basic qualifications prepare you for your first on-water training sessions. Depending on your availability, you can train on weeknights, during the day or on weekends.  Or all of the above, as our rescue vessels can be on the water several times a week.  In addition, stations usually provide classroom training weekly or monthly, focusing on SAR techniques, seamanship, first aid, and maritime collision regulations (the “rules of the road”).

Once you have completed certain training you will be considered for specialized courses like Marine Advanced First Aid, SARNAV-1 and SARNAV-2 (both exclusive RCM-SAR courses) and RCM-SAR coxswain training.

1. How do I get involved?

There are lots of ways to get involved with your local RCM-SAR station!

The first step is to contact your local RCM-SAR Station Leader or Recruitment Coordinator .  They will tell you about their application process and answer your questions.

Email RCM-SAR Station 37 Sooke: jason.vandervalk@rcmsar.com

Message from the Station

We’re a small and talented team. Each of us has spent countless hours training and being on-call. We are ready to assist when you need help.

Contact us for more information.

Interested in volunteering, helping others and making a difference in the community of Sooke?

Contact Info

250.888.9492

(Government Dock) 1800 Maple Ave. South Sooke, B.C.

Drop us an anchor message!