SAR crews are the backbone of the RCM-SAR’s emergency response activities. Crews consist of dedicated, unpaid professionals who are on call for one week out of every four.

Members of RCM-SAR receive many benefits including Coast Guard training in small vessel operation, coastal navigation, marine Search and Rescue, small vessel inspections, and first aid. SAR crews have the opportunity to attend the Coast Guard’s R.H.I.O.T. School in Bamfield for advanced rigid hull inflatable
operator training. Members may also qualify for discounts on the purchase of some marine equipment.

A National Coast Guard Auxiliary Insurance Policy also covers RCM-SAR members and vessels when taking part in RCM-SAR approved events.

Above all, members receive the satisfaction of knowing that they are making a difference in the marine community and have the prestige of being part of a national rescue organization.


While many volunteer crew members come from a marine background, this is not a requirement. Thanks to our professional training plans, non-mariners can quickly become highly skilled crew members with time and commitment in a supportive environment that values teamwork.

Your commitment as a RCMSAR volunteer crew member involves:

  • Attending regular training sessions and meetings on evenings and weekends
  • Living or working close to your station’s boat launch
  • Respond to emergencies on short notice


Requirements to join Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue:

  • 19 years of age or more
  • Canadian Citizen
  • Complete the Pleasure Craft Operators Certificate course
  • Complete the Restricted Operator Certificate – Marine
  • Attain Marine Basic First Aid, equivalent certification, or higher with CPR/AED Level C▪ Pass a Police Information Check, including Vulnerable Sector Check
  • Be in good physical condition and able to pass the annual RCMSAR Fitness Test

In addition to operational volunteers, supporting members are critical to the success of our stations. We also welcome volunteers who have an interest in:

  • Boating safety advocacy
  • Vessel maintenance and equipment management
  • Community fundraising and attending special events
  • Media support
  • Under 18 years of age? Connect with us to learn more about RCMSAR’s junior program.

Additional Requirements for SAR crew and Station 8:

  • Live in the Ladner/Tsawwassen area (SAR crew must be able to respond to the boat in 15-20 minutes )
  • Able to enter the U.S.A (the boat is based in Point Roberts, WA) – this means that a valid passport is required in order to cross the border as of June 1st, 2009 – if in doubt, please contact the U.S. or Canadian borders
  • Understand there is some risk involved
  • Ability to think and react quickly to changing situations
  • Reliable and dedicated to supporting our organization
  • Boating experience an asset but is not required


Through RCMSAR’s training program, you will learn basic search and rescue skills, first aid and become familiar with safety and emergency procedures. Your Station’s training officers will deliver weekly classroom and on-the-water training where you will develop skills in navigation and communications, seamanship and marine regulations building your knowledge and confidence to save lives on the water.

Depending on your experience and training hours completed, you can expect to progress from a New Crew member to Advance Crew and Coxswain within three to four years.

Additional Information:

There is a time commitment.

  • The unit meets twice a month on Wednesday evenings for two hours each night for training and unit business.
  • Crews train 2-5 hours on the water during their duty week.
  • Unit members are expected to help maintain and clean the boat and base, and participate in the occasional public relations and fund-raising events. 10 hours a month should be considered normal.
  • Above all, you are a member of a dedicated life-saving team and the expectation is that you will honour your commitment and not let the team or the public down.

Some of the special events we participate in routinely are providing on-water and shore-based safety for the New Years Polar Bear Swim at Centennial Beach in Boundary Bay, participating in the Ladner May Days and Tsawwassen Sun-Fest parades, participating in the Point Roberts/Tsawwassen Yacht Club’s annual spring Sail Past, participating in the Ladner Remembrance Day parade, and providing safety
escort for the Ladner Christmas Carol Ships in the Fraser River.

Being a member of RCM-SAR is a rewarding experience. From search and rescue crews to administrative
staff, everyone has an integral role to play in the prevention of loss of life at sea.


If you obtain yourPleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC) prior to applying, you will just need to initiate the criminal record check, and you can immediately apply for membership in RCM-SAR. Once your membership has been processed, and you are covered by the Group Insurance policy, you are eligible to start training on the boat.

If you do not have your Pleasure Craft Operator card (PCOC), you cannot immediately become a RCM-SAR member, however we can help direct you to an online provider where you can obtain one. We will also reimburse you for the fee once you have passed the test.
To apply or get further information contact us by e-mail and someone will get back to you quickly.