Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General and Minister Responsible for Emergency Preparedness Mike Farnworth has issued the following statement on Search and Rescue Volunteer Memorial Day:
“British Columbia’s remarkable geographic diversity affords residents and visitors a wide range of outdoor experiences. Every time we set off on an adventure, we do so with every intention of a safe return.
“Unfortunately, accidents happen. A wrong turn, a rogue wave or a simple misstep can be the difference between a planned return home and a call for help. When we have to make that call, we should all consider ourselves fortunate that we can count on the thousands of search and rescue volunteers from the BC Search and Rescue Association, Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue, and PEP Air who brave this province’s most unforgiving environments to help return us to safety.
“Day in, day out, these volunteers willingly head into British Columbia’s rugged wilderness, plunge into frigid waters or provide aerial support to assist perfect strangers. They invest time and energy in training, and they stand ready to deploy at a moment’s notice and put themselves in harm’s way.
“They make great sacrifices, and sometimes, they make the ultimate sacrifice.
“Today, we honour the search and rescue volunteers who lost their lives while working to save others. We owe them an immense debt of gratitude, and we will continue to take inspiration from their bravery and selflessness.
“To the volunteers and their families who regularly put their lives on hold to support this vital service, thank you. Your contribution to the safety of all British Columbians is immeasurable, and our support for B.C.’s search and rescue organizations and volunteers is unwavering.
“On this Search and Rescue Volunteer Memorial Day, I encourage all British Columbians to join me in honouring those who serve and those who have lost their lives.”