The Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary, a Large Player in Search and Rescue
Icebreaking, flood control, search and rescue, marine communications and traffic management services, aids to navigation, environmental response: the services provided by the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) are numerous and diverse.
To fulfil its search and rescue mandate, the CCG depends on the cooperation of a number of partners, including the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary (CCGA). It is a non-profit organization that employs skilled volunteers to provide assistance to users of waters under federal jurisdiction. The CCGA utilizes many private vessels, whose members are owners, or so-called “community” vessels, which were either acquired by an organization that represents members, or given by the CCG. In urban areas, the CCGA operates primarily pleasure or community craft, whereas in the Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence, it mainly uses fishing vessels.
In the area of responsibility of the Québec City Marine Rescue Subcentre coordinates search and rescue operations, an average of 1,600 search and rescue missions are conducted each year; of this number, approximately 600 involve the assistance of a CCGA unit. The missions in which the units are involved vary greatly, from simple towing to refloating, as well as firefighting and first aid, etc. The CCGA is therefore the most active marine search and rescue organization after the CCG.
The Canadian Coast Guard is very proud to be able to count on a partner such as the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary to carry out its activities in order to ensure the safety of Canadians.