Kachina Brown of the Deep Bay Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue has recently been promoted to a coxswain — and she’s one of a select group of women holding the title across the country.
“It’s been a really rewarding, fun training opportunity,” she said.
Brown said she knows another female coxswain, who works out of Pender Harbour, who encouraged her to get involved.
“When she heard I was moving to the coast as well, she said you should get involved with marine search and rescue, it’s really fun,” Brown said. “And I just happened to move three kilometres up the road from the base here, so it was like it was meant to be.”
Its been a fast-moving and interesting time for Brown, who was promoted at the end of March after doing a training program in Bamfield, which included “10 days of heavy weather handling, boat handling, on the west coast.”
Brown is in the first stage of her coxswain status, which means she can head a boat in daylight hours. She will be able to get full status once RCMSAR is able to facilitate on-water training again.
Since becoming a coxswain, COVID-19 hit and Brown and the rest of RCMSAR have had to adjust.
The volunteer-run organization has had to move to online training, but is still operating as an essential service. They’ve managed to maintain their 15-minute response time capability through the pandemic and are confident they will be able to continue doing so. The station is currently short on PPE equipment, Brown said a donation of a dozen or so more N95 masks would be appreciated.
More information can be found at the RCMSAR website, unit59.ca.