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Squamish RCMSAR reminds boaters to be safe ahead of Victoria Day weekend

Following these safety tips can save lives, says Heidi Spect of Squamish RCMSAR.

Squamish Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue (RCMSAR) is reminding residents to be safe on Howe Sound ahead of the long weekend.

In a news release, Squamish RCMSAR says it is “steering boaters towards safety” ahead of Safe Boating Awareness Week, which runs from May 18 to 24.

As the weather warms and water travel becomes more popular, Squamish RCMSAR says folks should follow these safety precautions:

  • Wear a lifejacket
  • Boat sober
  • Bring safety equipment and test prior to departure
  • Familiarize yourself with the visiting area
  • Be aware of submerged objects
  • Leave a sail plan with loved ones and check the weather before departure
  • Always have a way to call for help: Use channel 16 on a marine VHF radio or dial *16, #727 or 911 on a cell phone, if there is service.

“Being prepared and following these key safety tips can make the difference between a good time on the water and a life or death situation,” said Heidi Specht, who is part of the rescue crew with Squamish RCMSAR and president of Howe Sound Marine Rescue Society, in the release.

“The ocean can get wild. It’s cold, it can become very windy most days in the summer, and that can put your personal safety at risk if you’re not adequately prepared or being responsible.”

For additional safety for kids, the Squamish RCMSAR provides free-to-use personal floatation devices (PFDs) for infants, toddlers and youth through its Kids Don’t Float program. These PFDs are available at the Squamish Yacht Club and the Harbour Authority dock near the public boat launch in downtown Squamish.

Notably, Specht said that RCMSAR volunteers are on standby 24/7, but boaters need to do their part and stay safe while on the water.

Moreover, Squamish RCMSAR is fundraising for a new high-speed rescue vessel, with the aim to raise $700,000 by 2030. Locals can donate to the charitable society through a Canada Helps page at

“We’re hopeful for the financial support from Squamish locals and businesses alike, so we can reach our goal of a new rescue vessel and continue to achieve our mission of saving lives onthe water,” said Specht. 

“As Squamish continues to grow, water sports are becoming more popular and marine traffic is increasing, we see the need for a new vessel as something very integral to our community’s safety plan.”

Large corporate donations can email Specht directly at [email protected]