Water Rescue Team
View the 2012 Water Rescue Training & Practice Schedule here.
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The ASAR Water Team is a specialty discipline within Search and Rescue. As such, specialized training is required over and above generalized Ground Search and Rescue (GSAR) training that is essential for all SAR members. It is referred to as "Swiftwater Rescue", but it actually includes all inland waters: rivers, streams, lakes, etc. Coastal waters are covered by the Canadian Coast Guard and Coast Gaurd Auxiliary. Water Team covers everything from the watershed at the mouth of a river inland. For Arrowsmith SAR, this includes several fairly large lakes (Horne Lake, Cameron Lake and Spider Lake), two significant rivers (Englishman River and Little Qualicum River), and a number of smaller lakes and streams. Water Team may also provide mutual aid to other SAR groups on Vancouver Island and the mainland.
The equipment used by the Water Team includes dry suits, PFD's, throw bags, masks, snorkels, swim fins and a variety of water rescue devices. Arrowsmith SAR utilizes a motorized RIB for work in larger bodies of water. For the most part, however, the work requires being in the water and dealing with a variety of situations, from rocks and rapids to deep, open water. Clearly, strong swimming skills are a must. Water Team sometimes works in conjunction with Rope Team when there is difficult access to a victim in the water, such as at the base of a canyon or waterfall.
Water Team trains regularly, typically meeting once a month througout the year to practice. Training scenarios can include shoreline searching, open grid searches, boat training, surf rescue training, etc. If you like the water and are interested in learning new skills, Water Team may be for you