During Thurs night training, the Fraser L/B came across 2 vessels near S19 in apparent difficulty. The 44′ ferro cement sailboat Van Kam with one person on board had lost power and was being towed by a small vessel that was having difficulty with the tow. Fraser took over and brought the vessel into Steveston and alerted CG radio. The sailboat had sustained some damage caused by the other vessel, apparently, they struck some pilings. This was also a wonderful opportunity for Ron, our coxswain in training under the watchful eye of senior coxswain David.
The person on the sailboat indicated they didn’t want to call a PAN PAN and were afraid of being charged for rescue. This highlights a common misunderstanding amongst many pleasure boaters. SAR is never charged, and the damage sustained could have been avoided if an earlier response happened.
The Fraser Lifeboat conducted a safety patrol upriver to New Westminster. We transited via Annicis Channel and were going to lower our mast but the swing bridge saw us coming and swung the bridge. This is the first time we have fully gone through this channel. On our way up we had a large deep sea following us, giving great practice to our radar/nav station crew. Lots of commercial vessel activity on the river. On the way back we sailed into Ladner Harbour and then back along the float homes to Sea Reach and eventually back to Steveston.
This year saw the return of the Vancouver International Boatshow after not happening for the past couple of years due to COVID-19. The CLI set up its booth inside BC Place, and Delta Lifeboat was at the floating portion of the show at Granville Island. John Horton presented two seminars to the public, the first being Cruising our coast in Captain Vancouver’s wake, and the second was History and Industry of the Fraser River. This is a great fundraising event for us bringing in just over $5000, as well as increasing our exposure to the public. Lots of people dropped by to learn about our role, our vessels, and boating safety in general. We even gained a few new crew members.
The CLI provided support to the annual Ladner Carol Ships parade on Dec 9 & 10. Delta Lifeboat had a choir on board and both were decorated in Christmas lights; however, both vessels were available for SAR duties if required. Friday was very windy 20-25 knots at least and raining hard. Saturday was less windy but still raining. Our crews enjoyed some festive camaraderie after the event at Ladner Lifeboat Station.
On 30 Nov 2022, the CLI hosted its annual crew and society member appreciation dinner and fundraiser. Supporters of the CLI were also welcomed. This year’s dinner at the Beach Grove Golf Club in Tsawwassen raised a little over $11000 with a big shout-out to Tsawwassen Legion #289 and Gulf and Fraser Credit Union for their generous gifts. A snowfall did have our numbers down a bit, but overall a fantastic evening.