OUR VIEW: In praise of the rescuers

If you’re on the water during boating season, always be prepared.

If you’re on the water during boating season, always be prepared.

Be ready for changing weather conditions, have the right gear on board in case things go wrong, make sure your vessel is in ship-shape and be sure to brush up on your skills. Shake off that winter season rust and reacquaint yourself with the rules of the sea.

Taking a little time to do any of that could prevent getting a visit from the volunteers of the Saanich Marine Rescue Society — the search and rescue teams of Sidney or Brentwood Bay.

On most days, say the volunteers, boaters traverse the waters around the Peninsula without incident. There are 10 marinas (from Sidney – north, both working and for pleasure craft) on the east side of the Saanich Peninsula alone. That means there’s the potential for a lot of boats on the water at any given time.

This summer, as well, has seen long periods of excellent warm weather — meaning even more people are setting sail for day trips.

Hopefully for most people who are out having fun, they do not need the services of the area’s search and rescue teams. But we can all rest a bit easier knowing that these volunteers are only 15 minutes away when there’s an emergency.

They train well and often in order to respond quickly to folks in distress. It’s a service that most of us hope to never see in action but that commitment to the job is certainly a comfort.

Saanich Marine Search and Rescue has been around since 1979 and their members work hard to keep us safe. They are always seeking new volunteers and donations to stay afloat— something to consider and to support as boating season continues around the Saanich Peninsula.