Salmon Arm  

Shuswap Lifeboat Society requesting council permission to install floating Rescue Boathouse at Main Street dock

Dock space for rescue team?

The Shuswap Lifeboat Society is asking Sicamous council for approval to place a floating Rescue Boathouse at the end of the Main Street dock.

At the June 12 District of Sicamous committee of the whole meeting, the Shuswap Lifeboat Society is planning to send a delegation to request permission for the placement of the floating structure, which will house two rescue vessels for Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue Station 106.

The proposed location for the boathouse would shrink the available slips at the Main Street dock from 16 to 13.

Research and design work on the project began in 2017, with construction beginning in 2022. The Shuswap Lifeboat Society said it hopes to have the rescue base floated and in place by early fall.

“Dozens of potential locations have been explored since 2017 to ascertain the best location to site the Rescue Base,” the Shuswap Lifeboat Society said in a report.

“A site within Sicamous Narrows met all the factors and requirements our group was seeking. It provided quick access by responding volunteers to the vessels for an emergency callout, and [the] best location for ambulances to enter onto a highway quickly to transport patients to hospital.”

Other benefits of the new boathouse include quicker emergency launches, reduction in maintenance time and costs, and the prolonged lifespan of expensive navigational equipment.

The $600,000 project features durable steel construction with four marine-grade aluminum floats to provide the necessary buoyancy.

“Thanks to grants, we have invested in solar panels to obtain cost-effective net metered electricity, heat pumps for efficient heat/cooling, and an interior mesh deck system that is sensitive to fish habitat, allowing ambient light to shine through our base, and into water below,” said the Shuswap Lifeboat Society. “Metal panels for the siding and the roof provide 50 plus years of no maintenance.”

The rescue base will contain a heated washroom and a “mission-ready room” to store response gear, plan missions and conduct after action debriefs.

Funding for the project will be provided by a combination of grant funding, a loan being serviced by the Columbia Shuswap Regional District, District of Sicamous and City of Salmon Arm, as well as corporate sponsorship and donations.

RCM SAR Station 106 has operated out of Sicamous since 2012, and has performed 394 missions on the Shuswap watershed to date.

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