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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Colchester rescue vessel back in the water under a new name




by Sylene Argent, Local Journalism Initiative

As of April 4, the rescue vessel based out of the Colchester Harbour is ready to ensure the safety of those on local major waterways 24/7 for the boating season, but under a new name.

  In 2022, the volunteer based non-profit organization dedicated to marine search and rescue services began the process of obtaining an additional rescue vessel that will be based out of the Belle River Marina.

  The Alida, though still being readied for water rescue operations, is expected to be in service this summer.

  With the additional vessel on new waters, it was believed a name change was in order to encompass the expansion.

  The organization is now known as Guardian Marine Rescue.

  Tyler Burniston, a Crew Member of the Guardian Marine Rescue, noted the name change reflects the rescue service’s expanded operational scope and the areas it serves, and further emphases the commitment to marine safety and rescue in the region.

  He noted the name change to the organization was a great opportunity to continue reaching out into the community to inform residents of the expansion and what the Guardian Marine Rescue offers in terms of service.

  Last year, Burniston added, the rescue vessel in Colchester responded to a record 11 calls. Typically, the average is between seven and eight.

  The type of call depends on how many Crew members are needed. For a person overboard call, a minimum of three Crew members may be needed. If the call was that a flare was seen and there is the possibility of a prolonged search, around five or six crew members are required.

  Burniston is working on developing a water safety program to help prevent emergencies and provide information on water safety. He noted that if an organization requested the Crew of the Guardian Marine Rescue to attend an event and present those types of tips, they would be happy to do so.

  For instance, he spoke about the safety of always wearing a lifejacket or PFD. During the spring and fall, when temperatures may be warm but the water could be quite cold, it is especially important to wear a lifejacket or PFD. Ones finding themselves in an emergency in the water without wearing a flotation vest, especially in cold water temperatures, their survival time drastically decreases, he shared.

The Crew is really trying to use its social media to try to get more boating safety information out there.

  Currently, the Guardian Marine Rescue has around 25 on the Crew, which Burniston noted have experience in a variety of fields, such as paramedic, Coast Guard, or former Military.

  On May 3, the Guardian Marine Rescue is hosting a pasta dinner and trivia night as a fundraiser to support maintaining their vessels.

  To learn more about the organization or upcoming events, information about how to get involved, or to donate, check out its social media or www.guardianmarinerescue.com  

  He noted those who want to get involved can do so in two ways, either as a part of the Crew in responding to emergencies, or as a non-crew member, who would help look after maintaining the vessels, volunteering with fundraising, or canvassing for donations.

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