Canadian Coast Guard Officially Opens New Permanent Station In Victoria

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staff at the new Victoria Coast Guard Station. Pics: Canadian Coast Guard.

Victoria, BC:  Terry Beech, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, has announced the official opening of the new Canadian Coast Guard search and rescue station in Victoria, B.C.

This new and modern search and rescue station is situated on Dallas Road alongside the Coast Guard’s Victoria base, with easy access to the harbour.

The new building offers office and meeting space, as well as living quarters on the second floor for the station crew. Solar panels were installed on the roof of the building to offset a portion of the station’s energy consumption.

As with other Coast Guard search and rescue stations along the coast of British Columbia, the Victoria station is staffed 24-hours-a-day.

The highly trained crews are ready to respond at a moment’s notice to a maritime emergency in the area, which is especially important during summer months when boating activity in the area increases for the season.

The station enhances marine search and rescue capacity in southern British Columbia and in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. It also supports Coast Guard’s longstanding partnerships with the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue, Royal Canadian Navy, RCMP, and local first responders. The new building replaces a temporary station which opened in 2018.

Search and rescue vessels and personnel of the Canadian Coast Guard.

The $1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan is the largest investment ever made to protect Canada’s coasts and waterways. This national plan is creating a stronger marine safety system that provides economic opportunities for Canadians today, while protecting our coastlines and clean water for generations to come.

This work is being done in close collaboration with Indigenous peoples, local stakeholders and coastal communities. Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, said: “Under the Oceans Protection Plan, our government continues to invest in infrastructure, personnel and equipment so we can respond more quickly and effectively to emergencies at sea. From expanding the Coast Guard Auxiliary, to new SAR stations, to re-opening the Kitsilano Coast Guard Station, we’re strengthening marine safety and response times from coast to coast to coast. The new station in Victoria is the latest milestone under the OPP, and I look forward to seeing it serve Canadians for decades to come.”

Omar Alghabra, Minister of Transport, said: “The opening of the Victoria search and rescue station demonstrates our commitment to increasing our ability to respond to emergencies on the B.C. coast. Projects like these enhance our ability to respond to marine incidents, improve safe navigation on Canadian waters, provide incident response training to Indigenous Peoples and coastal communities, and upgrade communications with mariners in remote areas.”

Terry Beech added: “In 2018, our government announced our plan to build a new SAR station in Victoria, and I’m thrilled to see that vision become a reality today. The station in Victoria will allow the women and men of the Canadian Coast Guard to better respond to marine emergencies on the busy Strait of Juan de Fuca. This station is just one way our government is delivering on its promise to keep Canada’s oceans and coastlines safe.”

• The station features a 14.7-metre Canadian Coast Guard lifeboat, the CCGS Cape Calvert, and a Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat, providing 24-hour response services for search and rescue, environmental response, and other activities. The marine infrastructure for the Victoria station vessels is projected for completion by 2023.

• The Victoria station is crewed by an Officer-in-Charge and three crew members, including an engineer and two Leading Seaman/Rescue Specialists.

• The station cost $3.8 million to build and includes a double-height workshop for vessel maintenance, a first aid room, as well as an equipment drying room and gear storage.

• Three additional search and rescue stations have been opened in Newfoundland and Labrador.

• Funding for the new stations totaled $108.1 million, with ongoing funding of $12.2 million creating 56 new positions to provide search and rescue services from these new stations on the two coasts. 

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