Delta Lifeboat’s captain, John Horton, wants to continue offering the vessel’s lifesaving services to those in over their heads on our local waters, but now needs the public’s help to ensure that the crew can continue.
In addition to saving lives, the Delta Lifeboat – which is part of the Canadian Lifeboat Institute (CLI) – also offers volunteer support and assistance to Delta’s emergency services, the Canadian Coast Guard, the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue, fishermen, commercial shipping and recreational boaters in the waters surrounding Delta.
“Because of the global pandemic, linked with the provincial state of emergency and rising costs, we’ve not been able to hold any of our normal fundraising events. Because things like boat shows, and dinners and social gatherings where we normally raise our money, we haven’t been able to do that,” says Horton.
In addition to their limited fundraising abilities, some unexpected maintenance costs for CLI’s two vessels, the Delta Lifeboat and the Fraser Lifeboat, has pushed them to put out an “urgent appeal” to try and raise $40,000 for the Delta Lifeboat’s expenses.
“We have to make sure that our lifeboats are, of course, in tip top condition, so that we can continue to do our lifesaving work. The Fraser River here, which is where we operate two of our lifeboats out of the mouth of the Fraser River, it is actually one of the leading search and rescue areas in the whole of Canada. There’s a lot of lives lost here over the years, so it’s really important that we support the Coast Guard and other search and rescue organizations,” says Horton.
About $30,000 has been raised so far but more is needed.
The funds will go towards fuel, training crew members and all things needed to make the Ladner Harbor-based Delta Lifeboat functional in its many roles.
Since the pandemic, Horton has noticed a significant increase of people buying recreational vessels, particularly to go fishing off the mouth of the Fraser River.
“A lot of these people are absolutely brand new to boating ... there’s a lot of people out there that don’t know what they’re doing, which has added not only to us helping people, but having to be there and keeping our eyes open to make sure that if somebody gets into trouble, there’s assistance at hand,” he says.
To donate to the Delta Lifeboat, visit the Canadian Lifeboat Institution’s website at https://canadianlifeboatinstitution.org/ or send a cheque to their office at 12740 Trites Rd. in Richmond, postal code V7E 3R8. Once completed, they will send you a tax receipt in return.