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Special Edition – National Volunteer Week
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The Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary:
Volunteers who save lives
Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary

Have you ever been rescued on the water? Have you ever been saved after running aground or experiencing motor failure, or because you were caught by the tide?

A group of volunteer men and women, members of the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary (CCGA), joins forces with the Canadian Coast Guard in Quebec to help cover the 14,000 km of navigable inshore waters in the province.

These 651 volunteers cover the waterways of the St. Lawrence River and its main tributaries from the border of Ontario to the Labrador boundary, an area that also encompasses Chaleur Bay and part of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Every year, they help save numerous lives. In fact, in 2010, members of the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary took part in more than 500 search and rescue operations.

Because a number of navigational troubles can be avoided, the CCGA marine rescue volunteers believe in the importance of prevention. This is why they conduct courtesy inspections aboard watercraft. They receive training and often work closely with civil security organizations in the communities they serve.

For the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary, it is very important to recruit members who are fully familiar with navigation so they can lend assistance as effectively and safely as possible.

New Award of Recognition

In March 2010, the Canadian Coast Guard decided to honour the exceptional commitment of these volunteers who pursue the objective of saving human lives on the water by instituting a new annual award of recognition.

This award is given to a volunteer or group of volunteers for heroism or exceptional dedication. It was presented for the first time on March 19, 2011. The winners were Richard Lévesque and his Sept-Îles unit team mates. Their exceptional dedication is evident in the over 500 hours of volunteer work they put in to completely refurbish two search and rescue lifeboats, one of which was for their colleagues in the Gaspé unit.

To find out more about this organization or to volunteer:
Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary - Quebec region

Nathalie Letendre
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