From Bob Vergette:
Press Release: Coast Guard Auxiliary Unit 20 Joint Exercise
Unit 20 SAR Vessel
On February 21 starting at 10:00 the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary Unit 20 based on Pender Island will be holding a joint training exercise at Hope Bay. Featured at the exercise will be the Canadian Coast Guard Hovercraft Penac. The Penac and her sister ship the Siyay are stationed at a base in Richmond near the Vancouver Airport and conduct search and rescue operations throughout the southern Georgia Straits. These 25 meter long hovercraft are unique in that they float over the water on a cushion of air. The 3600 horsepower engines powering variable pitch propellers enable a maximum speed of 45 kts. Also attending the exercise will be Auxiliary Unit 25 based on Saltspring Island.
Pender residents are invited to come out to Hope Bay and see Unit 20 putting their 400 hp Titan 249 XL response vessel through all manner of maneuvers with the Penac. “Bring your camera – this is some thing you will not see too often!” say’s Dave Hargreaves, one of the four coxswain’s of the Pender Unit 20 and organizer of this joint training event.
After the exercise visitors are welcome to tour all the vessels at the dock and learn more about their rescue missions and capability.
The Pender Island based Auxiliary Unit 20 is an all-volunteer organization whose mission is to provide marine search and rescue service and to promote public boating safety. The Unit also supports land based search and rescue activities with shoreline search and transport. In the last two years the Unit has been called out for over 40 search and rescue missions.
The Hope Bay Cafe will be open that Monday so everybody can watch this special occasion from a warm window seat. Come and have a breakfast or lunch while watching the highly trained Coast Guard and Auxiliaries put their vessels’ through their paces.
For more information contact Unit 20 Leader Elizabeth Wilkes at 629 3021.