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PRINCE RUPERT PORT AUTHORITY INVESTS OVER $100,000 INTO MASSETT MARINE RESCUE SOCIETY

EFFECTIVE TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 2019

PRINCE RUPERT, BRITISH COLUMBIA – A celebration was held on September 6, 2019 in Massett to celebrate the acquisition of a new fast-response search and rescue vessel to service the waters of Haida Gwaii and the North Coast.

Through its Community Investment Fund, the Prince Rupert Port Authority (PRPA) contributed $116,121 towards the project, which enabled the Massett Marine Rescue Society (MMRS) to invest in a new, enclosed, fully equipped vessel for its Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue (RCM-SAR) station. The vessel will significantly improve MMRS’s emergency response effectiveness and range off the coast of Haida Gwaii.

Efforts to acquire a new vessel have been underway since 2015 when the MMRS received word that its existing RCM-SAR vessel had surpassed its 10-year operating period. The society was faced with a challenge: to refit the existing vessel or purchase a new, modern vessel that would be safer for volunteers and more appropriate to the conditions of the North Coast. The new fully equipped Titan Falkins Class Type 2 vessel was identified early as an appropriate fit for the needs of MMRS and fundraising began in earnest in 2015. The Search and Rescue Society has successfully raised over $850,000 toward this initiative, with funding secured though PRPA’s Community Investment Fund, as well as a BC Community Gaming Grant in the amount of $645,000, and $100,000 from Gwaii Trust.

Through its Community Investment Fund, PRPA has previously contributed over $250,000 to upgrading response vessel capacities for the Prince Rupert Marine Rescue Society and the Lax Kw’alaams Rescue Society. In addition, PRPA has also provided $52,500 in funding to establish the Prince Rupert Ground Search and Rescue Association.

“Improving the safety of our region by investing in local emergency response capacity is of fundamental importance to our organization and the value we place on safety,” said Shaun Stevenson, President and CEO of the Prince Rupert Port Authority. “The Port of Prince Rupert has an international reputation as one of the safest ports of call for large vessels due to our deep, wide, and protected approaches that offer short, direct access to and from Pacific
shipping lanes, and the world-class policies and procedures that govern their transit. Grassroots community-led organizations like Massett Search and Rescue make significant contributions to ensuring our region’s emergency response capacity for local mariners and smaller craft incidents is also world-class. Our appreciation goes out to them.”

“We appreciate the support that we’ve received from the Prince Rupert Port Authority,” added Chris Ashurst, President of the Massett Marine Search and Rescue Society. “Massett Marine Search and Rescue is entirely volunteer driven and it is our hope that the acquisition of this new vessel will not only improve emergency response capabilities and response times, but also grow our volunteer base and expand employment opportunities for volunteers with training and experience gained in marine rescues.”

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ABOUT MASSETT MARINE RESCUE SOCIETY (MMRS):

The MMRS has been an active organization since it was incorporated in 2004. It has 20 trained volunteers, providing emergency search and rescue services and support for mariners, float planes and other search and rescue units. The MMRS services a large marine jurisdiction and engages in mutual aid with other RCM-SAR units and the Canadian Coast Guard.

ABOUT THE PRINCE RUPERT PORT AUTHORITY’S COMMUNITY INVESTMENT FUND:

The Community Investment Fund is financed by a share of the Prince Rupert Port Authority’s annual net income that has been dedicated to improving the quality of life for residents of the North Coast. By investing these funds into community projects, led mostly by dedicated local volunteers, the Port Authority has been able to share its financial success with the communities that enable it. Since 2010, over 10.3 million dollars have been committed to the Fund – that’s over $10 million in 10 years, helping to make 70 local projects come to life. Each of these projects has filled an important role in supporting arts and culture, recreation, health and wellness, youth, education, the environment and other needs in the community.

FOR MEDIA INQUIRIES CONTACT:

Monika Cote
Manager, Corporate Communications
Prince Rupert Port Authority
250-627-2550
mcote@rupertport.com

Chris Ashurst
President, Massett Marine Rescue Society (RCM-SAR Station 45 Masset)
250-626-9003
Chris.ashurst@gmail.com