In all new beginnings, there is that bright moment when the plane's wheels lift off, you take that first step in a new direction, or swallow and introduce yourself. Nowhere are these more important than in a marine environment as the boat heels at the kiss of larger waves, the deck shudders as the engines work up to their fuller potential, and the future is alive with expectation.
On the evening of June 11th, 2015, T-SAR 2 left Cathedral Bluffs on her first patrol. Alan Banks, the shipwright, took the boat and crew for their pre-departure checklist. At 1930, all was ready and Petr Jano (our Training Officer) took the helm under the eagle eye of Derek Cartier our CO. Derek's observation that this was an event "four years in the making" was not lost on any of the crew.
Once out of Bluffer's Basin and on the lake proper, each crew member took the helm for a few minutes to get a feel for how T-SAR 2 handles. Petr Jano also scheduled a man-overboard exercise and the crew practiced several other evolutions. Ivan Simokovic, the Assistant Training Officer, took her back in and Lance Osborne (Coxwain in Training) handled the lines as T-SAR docked after her short training exercise.
There is still much to be done. The crew on T-SAR 2 have some 60 hours of training in under their life-belts — Phase 1 and 2 of CCGA classroom training and Red Cross Marine First Aid. However, 20 more hours of water-training need to be finished before T-SAR can accept taskings from JRCC Trenton... although at moment we are a ‘vessel of opportunity’ if needs must be.
We would also be remiss if we failed to thank the Navy League for the classroom facilities we have used so far. Their generous support is much appreciated.
Still, we are out on the water now and full accreditation is finally within reach. A four year epic is ending, and a whole new story waits to unfold!
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