For On-Water Emergency:

  • Channel 16 - VHF Radio
  • Dial *16 - Cell Phone
  • 1-800-267-7270 - JRCC
  • Dial 911 - Local EMS


Connect with us:

Visit POCOMAR on Facebook

 



2017 Elimination Draw

June 5th, 2017

Final Poster 2017 Elimination Draw

Join us Saturday, October 7 at Croatian National Home, 6 Broadway Avenue, Welland, for our Elimination Draw.

There’s $8,500 in prizes to be won. The top prize is $2,000, with second $1,000, and third, $500. Only 300 tickets will be sold.
All proceeds are put back into the unit.

The event gets underway at 6 p.m., with dinner at 7 p.m. Tickets are $100 each, with a $35 charitable donation receipt.

For tickets, contact pr@pocomar.org

SAREX 2017

May 28th, 2017
A Royal Canadian Air Force Search and Rescue Technician is lowered from a CH-146 Griffon helicopter, from 424 Transport and Rescue Squadron at 8 Wing/CFB in Trenton, to the stern of Port Colborne Marine Auxiliary Rescue unit's P1. Multiple agencies took part in an annual search and rescue exercise on Lake Erie Saturday between Point Abino and Mohawk Point. Rob Scotland Photo

A Royal Canadian Air Force Search and Rescue Technician is lowered from a CH-146 Griffon helicopter, from 424 Transport and Rescue Squadron at 8 Wing/CFB in Trenton, to the stern of Port Colborne Marine Auxiliary Rescue unit’s P1. Multiple agencies took part in an annual search and rescue exercise on Lake Erie Saturday between Point Abino and Mohawk Point.
Rob Scotland Photo

Intense.

That’s how Norm Dashwood, commander of Port Colborne Marine Auxiliary Rescue (POCOMAR) unit, described it as a Royal Canadian Air Force CH-146 Griffon hovered within 10 metres or less of the unit’s main vessel, P1, Saturday afternoon on Lake Erie.

The helicopter, from 424 Transport and Rescue Squadron at 8 Wing/CFB Trenton, had lowered two search and rescue technicians (SAR-Tech), and a rescue basket, to the stern of the P1 as crew members huddled inside the rescue vessel.

The SAR-Techs then transferred a person, in the form of a rescue mannequin, who had been in the chilly waters of Lake Erie in the area of Mohawk Point in Haldimand County, from the rescue vessel up to the helicopter.

Watching the transfer as it unfolded were a host of other vessels, including POCOMAR’s second rescue vessel, P2; the Canadian Coast Guard ship Cape Lambton out of Port Dover; a Canadian Coast guard rigid-inflatable boat (RIB); Hamilton Beach Rescue Unit, a Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary rescue unit from Hamilton; and a RIB from Fort Erie Fire Department.

Those units, along with Dirt Water Kit, a private Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary rescue unit, CARES (Civil Air Rescue Emergency Service) Niagara, and an airforce CC130 Hercules plane, were all part of an annual search and rescue exercise (SAREX) on Lake Erie.

“It was intense when the SAR-Techs were coming down. There was a lot of wind and water being thrown around by the helicopter. I think that we were all just hoping that everything went safely and smoothly – and it did,” said Dashwood.

He said the annual exercise is an opportunity for the various agencies involved in search and rescue to come together and practice in coordinated search and rescue simulations.

“For POCOMAR, this was not only a chance to practice multi-agency activities, but also a chance to showcase what our all-volunteer unit is capable of,” said Dashwood, who was onboard P1 during the day-long exercise.

Things went very well for crews on both of the unit’s vessels, he said.

“The crews worked very hard to complete our objectives and were successful in retrieving a simulated person-in-the-water and airlifting them to safety.”

Training with the various agencies gave rescue crews necessary experience needed in order to work at maximum efficiency in a real SAR scenario, said Dashwood.

“It helps eliminates the unknowns and aids in understanding what to anticipate.”

Asked how important it was to train with the military helicopter, Dashwood said, very, because it’s a dangerous activity.

“A lot of things can go wrong and it’s important that we are fully-prepared and don’t interfere with the helicopter operations. That practice means that when we have to do it during an emergency, we will be less likely to make a mistake.”

He said POCOMAR crews always learn from the engagements during SAREX.

“For example, a lot of the newer crew members learned about how to prep our boat for a SAR-Tech to be lowered from a helicopter and how best to assist that tech once secured. We also learned techniques for multi-unit shoreline searches.”

POCOMAR’s P1 worked alongside Fort Erie’s fireboat during a shoreline search in the Mohawk Point area of the Lake Erie.

Dashwood said POCOMAR’s crews are always training, ready to respond to calls on Lake Erie.

“We have four rescue crews that each train one night per week, and we sometimes do extra training on weekends.”

To date, the unit has had two calls on the lake, Dashwood said.

“Our primary vessel was out of service for two weeks due to a catastrophic engine failure. We are fully back in service now and look forward to a busy season. POCOMAR is a very big part of the boating community on eastern Lake Erie. I’m proud of our nearly 50 volunteers and the contributions from the community that keep our unit in service.”

A Royal Canadian Air Force Search and Rescue Technician works on the stern of Port Colborne Marine Auxiliary Rescue unit's P1, as a CH-146 Griffon helicopter, from 424 Transport and Rescue Squadron at 8 Wing/CFB in Trenton, hovers above. Multiple agencies took part in an annual search and rescue exercise on Lake Erie Saturday between Point Abino and Mohawk Point. Rob Scotland Photo

A Royal Canadian Air Force Search and Rescue Technician works on the stern of Port Colborne Marine Auxiliary Rescue unit’s P1, as a CH-146 Griffon helicopter, from 424 Transport and Rescue Squadron at 8 Wing/CFB in Trenton, hovers above. Multiple agencies took part in an annual search and rescue exercise on Lake Erie Saturday between Point Abino and Mohawk Point.
Rob Scotland Photo

POCOMAR 2017 executive

January 3rd, 2017

Here are our executive officers for 2017

Commander: Norm Dashwood

Executive Officer: Zach Walters

Treasurer: David Thorpe

Public Relations: Sheila Lindsey

Secretary: Amber Dashwood

Training: Andrew Watts

Operations: Scott Wolfe

EXECUTIVE BOARD

November 22nd, 2015

We would like to take this time to congratulate the new Executive Board members:

Commander Norm Dashwood

Executive Officer Jeff MacDonald

Training Officer Andrew Watts

Operations Officer Scott Wolfe

Secretary Sheila Lindsay

Treasurer Kathleen Goodman

Public Relations Sandy Leslie

2015 Comes to a Close

November 10th, 2015

Well, another season is coming to an end.  POCOMAR 2 is out of the water awaiting some much needed repairs.  POCOMAR 1 will be out of the water this week.  We have a lot of work to do over the winter to prepare these vessels for another season of Search and Rescue.

As always, we are looking for more volunteers who can help save lives on the water.  All you need is a Pleasure Craft Operators Card (PCOC).  Everything else you will get after joining.  Send us an email if you are interested in signing on!

To accomplish our goals, we rely on community donations from people just like you!  You can now donate easily by using the donate button on the left side of the site!

I wish to send a special thank you to PC Works.  Their generous donation to POCOMAR helped us out tremendously with our mechanical repairs this season.  You can check them out at http://pcworksemployment.ca/ PC-Works-Web

Motor Stolen from POCOMAR!

December 8th, 2014

One of our motors has been stolen and we are asking for your help to purchase a new one! You can read about it here:

http://www.wellandtribune.ca/2014/12/08/pocomar-victim-of-motor-theft

http://eriemedia.ca/motor-stolen-from-marine-rescue-unit/

http://newsinportcolborne.com/2014/12/pocommar-suffers-theft-equipment-lead-loss-life-rescue-operations/

 

25th Anniversary Awards

July 24th, 2013

Thanks to everyone who came out to the 25th Anniversary event on Sunday (and everyone who helped make it happen)!  The pig roast was fantastic and the band, True Story, far exceeded expectations!

POCOMAR received a number of awards and certificates of achievement during the event.  You can check them out below…

July 2013 Update #2

July 22nd, 2013

Everyone had a great day at the POCOMAR 25th Anniversary celebration.  Thank you to everyone who helped make it a success and thank you to everyone who came out with friends and family to enjoy the festivities.

We heard many comments about the dedication of the POCOMAR volunteers after pagers began sounding in the middle of the ceremony.  Several volunteers rushed down to the boat and their enthusiasm and dedication didn’t go unnoticed.

Stay tuned for some great pictures and more details from the event!

July 2013 Update

July 2nd, 2013

The season is well under way! We have had 5 taskings so far, all of which were a success. Our crews completed the rescues in a timely manner, and everyone made it back to shore safely.

Our Golf Tournament was a huge success, thank you to all who came out to play or participate with organizing it. We couldn’t have done it without you!

We will be hosting an Orientation for potential new recruits on July 26, 2013. Please contact Melanie Gendreau melanie.gendreau@gmail.com for details.

June 2013 Update

June 10th, 2013

Time for a new update!  It’s been a busy winter and spring here at POCOMAR.  Many long days and nights went into a complete overhaul of our vessels.  The larger of the two (POCOMAR1) underwent extensive hull repairs and even came out of the shop with a shiny new paint job.  We’re looking better than ever on the water!

After many labour-intensive months, we are back on the water and training exercises have begun.

We would like to extend a very big ‘Thank You‘ to Oskam Steel, Ian Dick, Brian Canter, Scott Wolfe, Andrew Watts, Cal Peyton, Frank Yapp and all the rest of the POCOMAR members who helped make the overhaul of our vessels a huge success.

We would also like to give a special thanks to Dave Johnson for providing excellent media coverage of POCOMAR.

As always, we want everyone to have a safe and happy boating season!