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REPORTING · 28th October 2014
Walter McFarlane
The Kitimat Marine Rescue Society launched their new search and rescue vessel on Saturday, October 25th at the MK Bay Marina. Hereditary Chief Sammy Robinson was present to bless the Snowflake Responder III. Mayor Joanne Monaghan was present to christen the vessel with a bottle of champagne.

“The law of the sea says that assistance be given to vessels or persons in distress. Marine communities look out for their people, for the visitors who travel their waters. Especially small communities like ours, because, obviously, we don’t have a lot of services from our Federal Government. When it’s cold and dark and the waters are rough, our volunteers are ready,” said Duncan Peacock, representing the society.

He explained they launched their first search and rescue vessel in 1988, the Snowflake Responder. In 2000, the Snowflake Responder II went into service. Both vessels have done a lot of work keeping the Douglas Channel and the people who live their safe.

“The snowflake responders have served the community well. We are proud to continue the use of our community symbol in the name of the new vessel. Her name will be the Snowflake Responder III,” said Peacock.

Peacock thanked all of the volunteers who help save lives.

“This new vessel will provide increased protection for crew, crew capabilities and have the ability to treat and warm survivors,” said Peacock.

The new vessel has a fully enclosed and heated cabin. It cost $630,000.

Monaghan expressed the Marine Rescue Society deserved a great deal of credit. “This is a volunteer non-profit organization which partners with the Canadian Coast Guard to provide Marine Service and Rescue and Marine Safety Services from Kitimat to the Hecate Strait,” said Monaghan.

Robinson told everyone he was doing a traditional Haisla ceremony for the launching of a new canoe. He was going to ask the creator to stand behind the captain at all times and bless the boat and all rescue missions.

“Every vehicle, whether it’s a boat, car plane, whatever, has demons and bad people inside. That’s our belief. They are ready to pounce on you if you make a mistake. I will chase all the bad creatures, all the demons in there, purify the boat,” said Robinson.