The newest addition to the South Shore Search And Rescue fleet has an old name.
Our brand new, purpose-built rescue boat, a Stanley 26 CR S&R from Stanley Aluminum Boats in Parry Sound, Ontario, has been christened GAMRU 240. That was the name of the 34’ steel vessel that was the workhorse of our fleet for nearly 20 years. The old GAMRU 240 was retired last year.
The new Stanley represents both an evolution in thinking in marine search and rescue and the latest in sophisticated technology that helps our volunteers operate safely and efficiently on the water.
With a hull length of 26’ (longer when you include the engines and their protective cage) and a beam of 9’6”, the Stanley is a T-top/centre console design that emphasizes safe working space for crew. Our specification called for a top speed of 40 knots and a cruising range of 220 nautical miles; powered by two Honda BF225 outboard engines, the Stanley fills that bill nicely.
Of the many outstanding features of the new GAMRU 240, perhaps the most important is the suite of four shock-mitigating seats. The seats are designed to help protect the volunteers as the boat negotiates rough weather. Each seat can be set to the weight of the individual crew and helps protect them from back injuries. Ample deck space to treat victims was an important design criteria. A large ‘dive door’ in the starboard side aids in recovering persons in the water and the large deck area aft makes dealing with injured or hypothermic patients easier.
Ample deck storage is available for equipment and rescue gear, and a small cabin forward of the helm position houses the first aid and trauma equipment, including a ‘scoop’ stretcher, AED and oxygen equipment, as well as spares and tools. But it is the suite of sophisticated navigation and communication equipment aboard the boat that makes it one of the most advanced rescue vessels on Lake Ontario.
Three large Raymarine multi-function displays can share data from the GPS navigation system, radar, AIS (automatic identification system) and information on depth, speed, heading and other data. The tour-de-force is a new technology for the volunteers — FLIR or forward-looking infrared imaging technology. The system ‘sees’ images based on their heat signatures and works particularly well in times of bad visibility — at night, in rain or fog. Crews can use FLIR while searching for victims in the water with the images delivered to one or all of the displays. A new radio direction-finder will soon be added to the list of technologies on GAMRU 240, further enhancing search effectiveness.
A highly effective package of emergency lighting not only alerts other boaters with a strobing blue light, the package also includes effective deck lighting, docking lights and versatile spotlights for night use — an important addition to effectiveness and safety.
When the new Stanley arrived in the spring, it was the culmination of more than four years of research, planning and preparation and the fundraising that created the $240,000 budget necessary to bring that vision to life. We are particularly grateful to the individuals, foundations and companies that contributed to that fund, and to Code3, the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation of Canada, BCM Insurance and the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary/Central & Arctic for their donations of equipment.
The new boat went into search and rescue service at the start of August, 2021, and can be heard on marine radio under a familiar call sign: GAMRU 240.
GAMRU 334 - Retired 2021
A rigid hulled inflatable Zodiac Hurricane 630 with twin Honda 90 horsepower outboard engines.
During a rescue in August, the Zodiac Hurricane 630 rigid-hull inflatable boat (RHIB) suffered a catastrophic hull failure that saw a large portion of the fiberglass hull section break away from the structure. And while the crew completed the rescue mission, the vessel took on considerable water and was unable to continue. In addition to the hull damage, the engines suffered water damage and the vessel was removed from service pending settlement of an insurance claim. As of the corporation's year-end, the fiberglass portion of the hull was repaired under the insurance policy and the inflatable sponson sections were removed for additional maintenance.
Thanks to a generous donation by the Honda Canada Foundation, two new Honda BF90 outboard motors are now on the repaired vessel, a donation that enables GAMRU South Shore Search And Rescue to meet its commitment to have two rescue-ready boats in service in 2017.
GAMRU 240 - Retired 2020
GAMRU 240 is a purpose-built, steel hull search and rescue (SAR) craft. It has a deep-V hull design, 11' beam and overall length of 34' with a 3' draft. This sturdy vessel is powered by two Detroit Diesel/Volvo Penta diesel engines with combined output of 640 h.p. It features a full suite of electronics, including GPS chart plotter, radar, automatic identification system (AIS) vessel tracking, VHF direction finding equipment and two VHF marine radios. On board equipment includes a fire fighting and dewatering pump, automatic external defibrillator (AED), oxygen, trauma kit and backboards.
Built in the early 2000s, the 240 is GAMRU's primary SAR vessel. Its maximum speed is 25+ knots and its heavy displacement and good power make it suitable for heavy towing. It is an excellent heavy weather vessel and its long range and hull design make it a very good choice for extended searches.
During the boating season, GAMRU 240 is stationed at Fifty Point Marina within the Fifty Point Conservation Area in Winona.