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Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue Station 27 and its non-profit supporting society (Nanaimo Marine Rescue Society) are organizations dedicated to providing marine search and rescue and promoting boating safety within the Nanaimo area.  Members are unpaid, and the majority of funding required to fulfill these duties is the result of our fundraising activities in the community and the generous donations and support of our community.




  • Marine Emergency Response Our unpaid crew members require specialized training, which takes place over several months.  Upon completing New Crew training, a member can sign up for on-call shifts as New Crew to observe SAR crews at work and gain experience. Training continues until a New Crew member completes Crew training. A member then becomes a regular member of the SAR crew and signs up for multiple weekly shifts (an average of 8 shifts per month).  Shifts are 12 hours, from 0600-1800 and 1800-0600, 7 days per week and 365 days per year.  While on call, the crew member must be ready to respond to a call and be within 15 minutes from the RCMSAR Rescue Station (beside Brechin Boat Launch).  All SAR crews (new and experienced) continue to train regularly to keep up their level of skill and knowledge.

Requirements for volunteers: (Note:  Interested applicants must have the PCOC certificate before being interviewed and have (or be able/willing to obtain) the ROC-M and First Aid certificates once accepted into the training program.)

  • Pleasure Craft Operator’s Certificate (PCOC)
  • Radio Operator Certificate- Marine (ROC-M)
  • Marine Basic First Aid and CPR-C (2-day course) (or equivalent)
  • Police Information Check (formerly called Criminal Record Check)
  • Extensive boating background and local knowledge of waters around Nanaimo is preferred
  • Able to commit to regular weekly training (theory and on-water)
  • Reliable and able to commit to an average of 8 on-call 12-hour shifts per month
  • Be able to respond to the RCMSAR Rescue Station (located at Brechin Boat Launch) within 15 minutes when on call
  • Capable of handling the physical demands of SAR operations in all sea and weather conditions
  • Able to make a 2-year commitment to the Station (Due to the length of the training program, we cannot accept short-term volunteers.  Safety is our priority, and being correctly trained ensures the safety of the Crew and those in need of our assistance.)
  • Able to provide two references
  • Boating Safety- Our members participate in community events promoting boating safety.  Training is provided periodically in various areas, including courtesy vessel safety equipment checks.  Members promote boating safety by conducting courtesy vessel inspections, participating in community events such as the Nanaimo Marine Festival and Bathtub Races, the Dragon Boat Festival and the Nanaimo Boat Show, doing Boating Safety presentations and participating in many community events and parades.  


  • Nanaimo Marine Rescue Society- Our volunteers also support the NMRS with its functions (including fundraising, finance, secretarial/clerical, media relations, website, marketing and other administrative duties) which support RCMSAR Station 27 to Save Lives on the Water

For more information on becoming a member of Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue Station 27, please email: recruit27@rcmsar27.ca

Or, follow the link to the application form below, then send an email to recruit27@rcmsar27.ca to let us know you’ve completed the online form.


Application form

Permanent link to this article: https://rcmsar27.ca/volunteer/