Coast Guard’s only search and rescue dive team to end

Federal government says the unit, based in Richmond, isn’t part of the ‘core mandate.’

The Canadian Coast Guard’s only search and rescue dive team is being shut down, ahead of boating season.

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans confirmed the Sea Island dive team in Richmond is being dismantled, with funding being re-directed to “enhance search and rescue capacity and response,” including for four new lifeboat stations around Vancouver.

The dive team, set up in 1995, has some of the highest levels of diving certifications, with members able to enter wrecked or submerged vessels, vehicles and aircrafts since 2013.

The DFO said these skills are “not part of the core search and rescue mandate.”

The Kitsilano Coast Guard station was shut down in 2013, despite many concerns over slower response times to boaters in trouble and oil spills, but was re-instated last summer.

RELATED: Trudeau directs reopening of Coast Guard base, action on Fraser salmon

“With last summer’s re-opening of the Kitsilano Coast Guard station, and expanding its mandate to include emergency environmental response, Vancouver harbour is safer than it was two years ago and the entire coast will be safer than it has ever been once all these historic investments will have been made,” the DFO said in a statement.

Dive team members will be transferred to other positions in the Coast Guard, while the search and rescue program on Sea Island will remain.

More to come.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

UPDATE: Mudslides close Highway 1 between Hope and Chilliwack

Eastbound lane not expected to reopen until Saturday afternoon.

Liberal and NDP MLAs stand together in support of SOGI education

Bipartisan support for materials that teach about sexual orientation and gender identity

Chilliwack embezzler back in custody after no-show for Tuesday sentencing

Warrant issued for man convicted of stealing large sums of money from First Nation near Agassiz

UPDATE: High streamflow advisory issued for Chilliwack River

River levels rising fast at Vedder gauge

Education minister blasts Chilliwack school trustee on gender issues

Fleming calls Neufeld’s behaviour ‘shameful’ and ‘unacceptable’

VIDEO: Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival

This year’s event featured six stops, including viewing points and activity centres.

SFU creates fund in memory of Aiden Serr

A celebration of his life on Saturday, Nov. 25 at 1 p.m. at Maple Ridge Baptist Church.

An adopted cat is the best 10 pounds you’ll gain this season

BC SPCA encouraging families to add a forever feline friend during adoption event Nov. 24 to Dec. 3

Uber official says public needs to push for ridesharing in B.C.

Mike van Hemmen tells Kelowna Chamber of commerce ridesharing would be ‘win-win-win’

B.C. co-ops relieved with Ottawa’s housing strategy

Federal government to have a new co-operative housing funding model in place by 2020

B.C. NDP referendum plan sparks legislature battle

David Eby says public will decide on proportional referendum

Hammy has been freed of his threads, a purple antler remains

The iconic Prince Rupert buck with a piece of hammock attached to his antlers was caught by COs

Court adjourned again for man linked to Shuswap farm where human remains found

Curtis Sagmoen will appear back in court on Dec. 14

B.C. family advocating for drug decriminalization following death of son

Federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh has noted the New Democrats would decriminalize personal possession of all drugs

Most Read