No Coast Guard Emergency Response Required for Sea Kayakers in 2019 and 2020 So Far!
by Alan Campbell
The May 2020 Newsletter article “Canadian Coast Guard Urges BC Boaters to Stay Home” reported the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) concern that small boaters may unduly stress marine emergency resources during the Covid-19 pandemic. When I called to inquire about the extent to which sea kayakers had needed emergency response, I was asked to make a formal Access to Information request and the results have recently been received.
As requested, the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC) in Victoria has provided marine search and rescue emergency call-out data from January 2019 to June 2020 including date, time, nature of incident, type of vessel involved and how the incident was resolved, with respect to calls involving pleasure craft in the area of South Vancouver Island.
The somewhat surprising finding from a review of this information is that of all 122 responses recorded (84 in 2019, and 38 to June 2020), none
involved a sea kayak. The very great majority of vessels are identified as Motor Craft and a small number classified as Open Boat, variously described as small skiffs or dinghies.
Sea kayakers have been staying safe or effecting needed rescues themselves, and not required emergency response by the Canadian Coast Guard. Keep up the good work!!
Anyone interested in the details can find the full 10-page pdf file at