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Quinte Search and Rescue asks council for new boat

Quinte Search and Rescue Unit Leader Paul Kerwin. Photo by James Gaughan, QNet News

By James Gaughan

BELLEVILLE – City council was asked to give $30,000 to a volunteer search and rescue organization to replace one of its aging boats Monday night.

One of the two boats Quinte Search and Rescue [1] is in need of replacement, Unit Leader Paul Kerwin told Belleville, council.

The boat QSAR is looking at comes with a lifetime warranty and would not need replacing for the foreseeable future, said Kerwin.

“We’re looking to upgrade our secondary vessel to a newer one we’ll have for time and in perpetuity,” Kerwin said.

Quinte search and rescue was founded in 2005 and works in connection with Joint Rescue Coordination Centre [2] at Canadian Forces Base Trenton [3].

Over the last two summers QSAR has responded to over 60 incidents, many of which in involve boats becoming stuck on shallow reefs. When this happens, QSAR needs to use one of their vessels to get people off the boat before towing it to deeper water.

The volunteer members of QSAR also respond to some mechanical failures of boats, as well as minor medical emergencies.

QSAR is asking council for the money because as a non-profit organization it is unable to come up with the money necessary itself.

“We get no federal or provincial funding. Most of the money, in fact, 99 percent of the money we generate, is through our own fundraising initiatives,” said Kerwin

Whether QSAR will get, the boat is uncertain, though.

Coun. Mitch Panciuk [4] told QNet News that the last time the organization asked the city for money it was turned down

He didn’t rule out that council would approve it this time, though.

“We’ll have to see exactly that they’re asking for, how much they’re asking for and then we can look at it from there,” said Panciuk.