On Thurs 17 Sep 2020, while smoke from fires in the U.S. continued to blanket B.C., the evenings training saw the Delta Lifeboat conduct coxswain, radar, and RHIB training.
The RHIB was sent away to test for radar tracking as it had been fitted with a new radar reflector. Being a small rubber boat, the RHIB had previously only shown up as a small target. A much-improved echo was now recorded at 2 miles.
Owing to very high tide, there was a huge amount of wood from 60-foot trees to small pieces. Unfortunately, the RHIB ran over a piece of debris in the dark and damaged the propeller, requiring a new one to be ordered. This was the first time it had been damaged in over 10 years!
New recruits also spent time as lookouts and helmsman introducing them to correct reporting and procedures. We are grateful for their enthusiasm.
On Saturday 15 Feb 2020, the Delta Lifeboat conducted crew training in the area known as the ‘Albion Box’ which lies on the south side of the Albion #2 Training Wall. It is a popular fishing area for commercial fishing vessels, but also a place where Recreational vessels sometimes become trapped after losing their way when entering the Fraser River.
The Lifeboats have responded to many incidents in the ‘Box’ over the years even though there is no Hydrographic information on the charts.
The morning exercise, held in heavy rain and fog, was to take sounding and add the information to the appropriate chart for future reference. Two new recruits were able to observe standing procedures onboard and witness several evolutions as well as stand a trick on the wheel. Fraser Lifeboat stayed outside the box and conducted plotting by AIS training for their crew as the Delta conducted its exercise.
After securing back at the Ladner Station, the crew cleaned ship and held a thoughtful debrief. As this was coming to an end, the Ladner Harbour Master advised that he had received a call from a concerned citizen that there was a small vessel requiring assistance in the Captain’s Cove area. There was no other information.
The report was passed to the JRCC who tasked the Delta L/b to proceed and search. The Lifeboat’s RHIB immediately departed to begin the search with the Lifeboat following. The RHIB searched Captain’s Cove and Deas Slough while the Lifeboat conducted a shoreline search of Kirkland Island. After 45 min. with nothing found, the Delta crew was stood down by JRCC and returned to station.
Although nothing was found, it was a most useful training opportunity.
On Saturday 25 Jan 2020, the Fraser Lifeboat tested raising and lowering the mast after recent maintenance. A lowered mast allows us to get under bridges and into areas that a vessel this size wouldn’t normally be able to go. We trained at the dock and then underway so the crew could learn to handle the vessel and understand the procedures. As restricted visibility conditions prevailed, we exercised radar training and then recovery of a simulated person in water drills.
Over the Oct 2019 Thanksgiving long weekend, several CLI crews attended a Transport Canada Marine Basic First Aid course. This is the first of possibly 3 courses we hope to conduct over the next year. This gives our crews the necessary marine requirements as well as CPR and AED training. Even infants are covered. The certification is good for three years and then must be renewed.
This 2-day course was well attended and as can be seen, the crews had fun too. We thank Dr Singh for his very informative and fact-filled sessions!
On 28 March 28 several crew members and coxswains of the CLI attended a training session at the Sea Island Hovercraft Base. As part of team SAR, the CLI regularly trains with the Canadian Coast Guard. This session covered hovercraft operations (passing lines, patient transfer, picking up a tow). A refresher in hypothermia was conducted featuring the latest training and seeing some new equipment in use. Finally, members received the new CCG Trauma Resilience Training course. This was an extremely informative session and we look forward to many more.