NewsNow E-Edition January 26, 2023

GAMRU has record year for rescues

The volunteers of South Shore Search And Rescue were called out 43 times in the 2022 boating season, a number that equals the record set in 2020 for rescue calls in a single year, says Sean Coffey, Grimsby Auxiliary Marine Rescue Unit (GAMRU) leader.

The 2022 tally included another record — eight victims saved in a single mission. It is the most people saved in a single call in the GAMRU’s history.

“By any measure, 2022 was an extraordinary season,” said Coffey.

“In addition to the volume of calls, the diversity of situations we met on the water challenged our crews. They met that challenge with discipline, skill and commitment.”

The rescue volunteers came to the aid of disabled and overdue boats, vessels aground, persons in the water and other emergencies. The season saw an increase in the number of small, self-powered vessels like paddle boards in distress and people on inflatable pool toys adrift on the lake.

Preliminary data from the 2022 season shows the average response time for the rescuers was 11 minutes. The crews logged more than 50 hours on rescue missions.

And while the rescue vessel has been hauled out for the winter, the volunteers’ work on land continues, Coffey said.

The volunteers will be canvassing local businesses to collect gift cards and gift certificates for the annual online charity auction Nov. 23-26. The group’s largest fundraiser of the year, the auction provides the essential funds for vital fuel, maintenance, training and repairs. Details are available at:

www.gamru.ca/auction

The fall is also recruitment time for new members. Membership is open to anyone in the community. Contact Matthew Tulk for details at:

membership@gamru.ca

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