Rescue boat campaign sails ahead on major NRB Inc. donation

GRIMSBY, Ontario (April 2, 2018) — The campaign to replace the aging inflatable rescue boat patrolling the south shore of Lake Ontario took a big step ahead recently with a substantial donation from a highly respected local business.

NRB Inc. has committed $10,000 to the campaign to replace the fast-response vessel manned by volunteers from GAMRU South Shore Search And Rescue, the two organizations announced this week.

The generous donation boosts the campaign’s total to more than $80,000 in funds on-hand or committed. The goal of the campaign is $300,000 — the estimated cost of a new, purpose-built fast-response rescue boat.

“Safety on the water impacts so many people from the community and an ambitious project like this was something we felt we could support,” explained NRB Inc. president Bob McNeil. “Boating touches every age and demographic in our region and a volunteer agency offering the kind of service these people offer makes all of our communities stronger.”

Formed in 1979, the family-owned NRB is based in Grimsby and also has operations in New Holland, Pennsylvania. The company is a leader in the growing field of designing, engineering and constructing quality modular buildings for a long list of commercial, retail, institutional and industrial customers. The firm is a highly regarded member of the local business community.

“Raising the kind of funds we need for a new vessel is a long, slow process. It can be frustrating but this kind of donation really propels our campaign forward,” said GAMRU unit leader Bob Gordon. “A donation like this from a respected local company like NRB is very, very gratifying.”

The fundraising campaign seeks support from government and institutional donors as well as key local industries and received a major commitment last year from the Wise Guys Charity Fund. The volunteer group hopes to have a new vessel in service by next year.

It is the second major donation announced by the group in the past week. The St. Catharines Game & Fish Association last week donated funds for a new suite of navigation equipment for one of the rescue crew’s existing boats.

Founded in 1988, GAMRU is the only dedicated marine search and rescue organization on the south shore of Lake Ontario from Hamilton to Port Weller. More than 30 active volunteers maintain fully-equipped rescue vessels and train year-round to maintain the skills and readiness to be effective on the water. GAMRU is a member of the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary and a registered charity.

Fishermen’s generous donation lights the way for rescue volunteers

ST. CATHARINES, Ontario (March 27, 2018) — The south shore’s marine rescue volunteers will be able to see through fog and safely navigate in all weather thanks to a generous donation from the St. Catharines Game & Fish Association.

The respected local outdoors and conservation group presented a cheque for $10,000 to the members of GAMRU South Shore Search And Rescue at the association’s meeting last night. The funds have been earmarked for a new integrated radar/GPS/sonar/chart plotter system for the volunteer’s 34’ rescue boat.

“This couldn’t be more timely for us,” explains Bob Gordon, the rescue group’s unit leader. “We badly needed to upgrade our navigation equipment and we committed to the project this year. This donation not only covers the cost of that investment, it is perfectly timed to help us for the coming boating season.”

GAMRU South Shore Search And Rescue was called out to 28 rescue missions in 2017, the second busiest season in the unit’s history.

“We value the work these volunteers do,” says association president Darryl Day. “Our members enjoy Lake Ontario and all it offers, but they are very aware of safety on the water and how easily a good day of fishing can turn bad. We understand and respect what these volunteers do for us and for everyone who uses the lake.”

In addition to staging a number of popular fishing tournaments and events, the association annually raises and releases thousands of young game fish into the lake, and hosts an annual event that introduces fishing to area youngsters. Association members also run the busy boat ramp on Lighthouse Road, popular with anglers and recreational boaters from around the Niagara Region.

Founded in 1988, GAMRU is the only dedicated marine search and rescue organization on the south shore of Lake Ontario from Hamilton to Port Weller. More than 30 active volunteers maintain fully-equipped rescue vessels and train year-round to maintain the skills and readiness to be effective on the water. GAMRU is a member of the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary and a registered charity.

Police Service special fund donation helps marine rescuers into 2017 season
NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. - A generous donation by the Regional Municipality of Niagara Police Services Board and the Niagara Regional Police Service will help the volunteer marine rescue group serving the south shore of Lake Ontario face the challenges of the 2017 boating season.
The donation to the Grimsby Auxiliary Marine Unit was announced today by Unit Leader Bob Gordon. The donation of $1,000 was as a result of a special fund request made by Chief Jeff McGuire of the Niagara Regional Police Service to the Regional Municipality of Niagara Police Services Board.
"We are grateful for every donation that helps us maintain the vital marine search-and- rescue services we provide the mariners of Lake Ontario," said Gordon, "but a donation coming from an agency we consider to be partners in providing safety on the water is especially gratifying. We enjoy a good working relationship with the Niagara Regional Police Service and this is testament to that relationship."
The Regional Municipality of Niagara Police Services Board Special Fund assists community groups and special events that align with the Niagara Regional Police Service's mandate in accordance with the Police Services Act.
GAMRU has just completed the busiest season in the group's history. During the 2016 boating season, GAMRU volunteers were called out to 34 rescue missions, up from 20 in 2015. In August, the group lost the use of its 22-foot Zodiac Hurricane rigid-hull inflatable boat (RHIB) when the vessel experienced a massive breach of the fibreglass hull while on a rescue mission. The donation will help the volunteers pay for equipment upgrades, maintenance, fuel and the other costs of operating a round-the- clock rescue service in 2017. GAMRU gets no government funding for its operations.
Founded in 1988, GAMRU is the only dedicated marine search and rescue organization on the south shore of Lake Ontario from Hamilton to Port Weller. More than 30 active volunteers maintain fully-equipped rescue vessels and train year-round to maintain the skills and readiness to be effective on the water. GAMRU is a member of the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary.
Honda rescues the rescuers . Donation of two Honda outboards puts busy rescue boat back on the water

GRIMSBY, Ont. (August 30, 2017) — Sidelined after a devastating incident last summer, the busy GAMRU South Shore Search And Rescue workhorse rescue boat got back on the water this summer thanks to a generous donation of two new Honda outboard engines by the Honda Canada Foundation.

The two powerful Honda BF90 outboards were donated to the rescue volunteers after the engines on their Zodiac 630 inflatable rescue boat were left awash in water when the hull of the vessel suffered a major failure during a rescue mission last year. 

The hull has been repaired and, with the addition of the new Honda engines, the boat went into service earlier this summer.

“One of the four key pillars of the Honda Canada Foundation is to provide assistance to families in need across Canada. The dedicated volunteers of GAMRU provide an essential on-the-water rescue and protection service on Lake Ontario, ultimately returning people home safely to their families. We couldn’t help but get involved with such a wonderful organization,” said Dave Jamieson, Chair of the Honda Canada Foundation. “Among the most technologically advanced and environmentally sound in the world, Honda engines are not only powerful, but will provide GAMRU with the proven performance and reliability they need.”

“There’s no way to calculate just how important this donation has been to us,” explained GAMRU South Shore Search And Rescue leader Bob Gordon. “We had the choice of trying to fix our old, out-dated engines or attempting to buy new ones. This donation changes everything. Suddenly we’re in a position to be on the water far sooner than we might have been and we’ve replaced old, unreliable two-stroke engines with modern, clean, efficient technology from Honda that is orders of magnitude better than what we had.”

The BF90 outboards utilize modern engine technology to meet rigorous California Air Resources Board (CARB) exhaust emission standards for outboards while offering improved fuel economy. Honda Marine offers a full line of modern, efficient, clean-running 4-stroke outboards, from the portable BF4 to the sophisticated BF250.

The arrival of the two new engines has long-term benefits for one of Lake Ontario’s busiest marine rescue units, Gordon said.

“In addition to extending the life of our old boat, this donation can become the keystone element in a new boat we’ve been planning to replace the Zodiac,” Gordon said. “Now that we have a modern, efficient power system, we can start the process of designing and fund-raising for a boat that we can power with the Hondas. It’s like being given an important piece of a complex puzzle.”

GAMRU volunteers were called to rescue missions 34 times during the 2016 boating season, the busiest summer in the unit’s history. Founded in 1988, GAMRU is the only dedicated marine search and rescue organization on the south shore of Lake Ontario from Hamilton to Port Weller. More than 30 active volunteers maintain fully-equipped rescue vessels and train year-round to maintain the skills and readiness to be effective on the water. GAMRU is a member of the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary.

About the Honda Canada Foundation

Formed in 2005, the Honda Canada Foundation (HCF) aims to enable the realization of dreams through various annual philanthropic activities and funding to non-profit registered charities across Canada where Honda customers and associates live, work and play. The HCF focuses on four key pillars – family, environment, engineering and education – and each year more than $1 million is disbursed to groups in need through more than 500 grants. More than five million Canadians have benefited from Honda Canada- and Honda Canada Foundation-funded charitable programs.

Just Energy Foundation donation helps GAMRU upgrade equipment

GRIMSBY, Ontario (August 25, 2016) – A generous donation from the Just Energy Foundation has helped the Grimsby Auxiliary Marine Rescue Unit purchase vital new navigation equipment.

The $2,500 donation was announced in late July and the cheque was presented on August 22, 2016.

GAMRU’s volunteers have a new GPS navigation and chart-plotting system thanks to the donation.

“Our equipment is in constant need of renewal,” explains GAMRU Unit Leader Bob Gordon. “Both of our rescue vessels have been used extensively this year and our work takes a heavy toll on equipment. The Just Energy Foundation donation came at a terrific time for us and has enabled GAMRU to maintain a high standard of readiness.”

The volunteer members of GAMRU have already been called out more times so far this boating season than they were all of last year.

“We are delighted to help support the rescue work of GAMRU through this contribution” says Amy Gasca, Executive Director of the Just Energy Foundation. “We are committed to the communities in which we operate and the Foundation is our way to contribute to their well-being. Comprised of volunteers, and most operating costs supported by volunteer contributions, we are happy to help GAMRU secure vital equipment needed in their service to the community.”

Founded in 1988, GAMRU is the only dedicated marine search and rescue organization on the south shore of Lake Ontario from Hamilton to Port Weller. More than 30 active volunteers maintain fully-equipped rescue vessels and train year- round to ensure the skills and readiness to be effective on the water. GAMRU is a member of the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary. 

About Just Energy Foundation

The Just Energy Foundation was established in 2013 by Just Energy Group Inc. to help registered Canadian and U.S. charitable organizations secure the resources required to promote the health and well-being of communities in need. Funded entirely by Just Energy, the Foundation invests in local programs that work to enhance the quality of life in Just Energy's operating markets towards building stronger and supportive communities. Visit justenergyfoundation.com to learn more.