I just had the opportunity to read the letter that was sent to our Mayor and Nathan Collin and Gary Coons regarding the Point Henry. If you have been reading the papers you will know the Govt has decided to replace this 70’ cutter with a much smaller lifeboat. The Govt wants to standardize all its boats. It is being said the smaller boat will have increased speed and safety measures. They will also be saving a bunch of money when they standardize and that is likely the biggest reason for replacing the Pt. Henry.
Have you ever known anyone who needed to be rescued from the villages or from boats? Have they been warmed up from hypothermia by being given a warm place to sit and a beverage? Have 2 patients been comfortable in stretchers leaving enough room for the paramedics to work around them safely? Have large boats been sucessfully towed off rocks or into town saving human and boat? Many of the calls our Point Henry goes on are longer range than anything down south does. They go out into open water and they go as far as Hartley Bay. They are capable of transferring clients direct from Cruise Ships while going 5 knots. There are so very many reasons to keep this larger boat here. She is able to go further, hold more patients or rescued clients and be better prepared to care for them. The Point Henry has a 500 km range, so she can go further is able to stay on the waters and grid search for missing people longer. Many of her calls are out of the range of the proposed new boat and a good percentage of those are in the category of lives being at risk.
I urge you to contact Jack Mussallem, Nathan Collins or Gary Coons if you are concerned about losing this valuable resource. Point Henry is due to leave here before June. NOW is the time to speak against that. Think of who you know who has been assisted from small boats, people in villages, off cruise ships or even off the ferry when she went down near Hartley Bay. Think of all the people sitting scared and cold on our coast after hitting a rock and sinking their boat and how happy they were to be saved. Not only will this smaller boat not be capable of doing many of the things the larger boat can the crew number will be reduced. Another cutback for this coast where it seems Ottawa does not know we exist.