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REPORTING · 26th August 2013
Walter McFarlane
Seaspan CEO, Jonathan Whitworth was in Kitimat on Tuesday, August 12th to tour the operations of Kitimat Search and Rescue after presenting them with around $8,500 a year for three years. It covers 35% of the operating costs for the station for each of the years. The funds came from the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation which Seaspan is a part of and this is the first time this organization has made a donation in Canada.

“We like to support any entity that is water related and also has an effect on our own community, either where our employees work or live. We have a number of employees who work up here in the Kitimat and Douglas Channel and that live in this area and it’s also an important part of our relationship with the Haisla First Nations. If we can invest in areas that are kind of under the radar and Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue is certainly under the radar, they are an entity that you don’t think of until you need them to come save you, it seemed like an important combination of supporting our communities that we work and live in and helping a really deserving agency such as Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue,” said Whitworth.

The total donation which was given to the search and rescue groups around the province totaled $300,000 over three years. About $150,000 was given to the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue Facility in Souk which benefits all of the different groups in BC. The rest of the money was spread throughout 6 stations which are associated with Seaspan. These include two in Vancouver, two on the Frasier River, one on Vancouver Island and Kitimat.

Whitworth was taken on a tour of the facilities and treated to a presentation on what sort of activities, training and of course, rescues the Kitimat Search and Rescue put on.

At the moment, Seaspan is operating a boat out of Kitimat called the Haisea which does work for Rio Tinto Alcan relating the Modernization, as well as the other projects construction.

Whitworth expressed that Seaspan will be looking at building more boats for Kitimat, such as escort tugs, docking vessels and other boats once the larger projects receive approval and move ahead.