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Quinte Search and Rescue down, but not out

Paul Kerwin is the unit leader of Quinte Search and Rescue. Photo by, James Gaughan, QNet News

By James Gaughan [1]   

BELLEVILLE – The temporary suspension of the Quinte Search and Rescue [2]‘s activities by the Canadian Coast Guard [3] won’t impact its request for a $30,000 new boat right now, says a member of the council.

Belleville Coun. Paul Carr [4] said a request from the volunteer search and rescue group last week is on hold.

“There’s no action required on the part of the city at this time,” he said.

The deputation that QSAR made at the last city council meeting was merely to let city council know what it wanted in the future, explained Carr. It is only a proposal at this time, he said. There is currently no official application for the council to look at regarding the boat.

The fact the volunteer organization was told to stand down by the Coast Guard may have an impact down the line, though, he added.

“We’ll have to take into consideration their current circumstances,” Carr said.

President of Quinte West Professional Firefighters Association [5] Jay Coxwell, a firefighter with Quinte West Fire Department [6], which works with QSAR during boating season, said that from what he’s heard the coast guard wants QSAR members to get more training.

He said that he’s hopeful that QSAR will be ready for the start of the boating season, though.

“Training and stuff like that is getting more in-depth and harder to keep it up but they’ve got a dedicated group there, and they’ll get on it,” he said

He expects the organization to move quickly recover from its current situation.

“I’m sure that they’re gonna work hard to meet the requirements that the coast guard set out and get their service back up and running,” he said.

If QSAR is not ready for the start of boating season, Quinte West fire department has three boats and will be able to assist boaters in emergencies, said Coxwell. Belleville’s fire department also has a boat, he said.

QNet News was unsuccessful when it tried to reach QSAR for comment at the time of publishing.