Maritimes Region

Search and Rescue

Search and Rescue exercises in Halifax Harbour

The Search and Rescue (SAR) Branch is primarily responsible for the coordination of response to people and vessels in distress in the marine environment. This includes responsibility for the Training and Exercising of personnel and vessels, as well as ensuring adequate and current equipment is ever ready for efficient and effective response.

SAR Area of Coverage

In addition to co-ordinating SAR missions within the CCG Maritimes Regional Boundaries, CCG Personnel at the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre, (JRCC), Halifax co-ordinate SAR missions across the larger Halifax SAR Region (areas noted in red below) and occasionally co-ordinate missions in international areas outside the Halifax SAR Region.

Maritimes region Search and Rescue area of coverage

In the Maritimes Region, the coast guard fleet provides on-water resources to respond to search and rescue incidents; during the summer months these resources are supplemented with the operation of an inshore rescue boat (IRB) service, and as well, the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary through its volunteers provide yeoman service to mariners and the boating public.

Search and Rescue exercises in Halifax Harbour

From the coordination perspective, Coast Guard and Canadian Forces officers staff the JRCC on a 24hour, 365 day basis. This Centre is located at HMCS Dockyard in Halifax. These officers are responsible for the search planning and the tasking of marine and air resources in response to SAR incidents.

The Canadian Coast Guard Maritimes Region Inshore Rescue Boat service runs during the summer months. (typically from the Victoria Day weekend until Labour Day). In addition to responding to the needs of boaters in need of assistance, they do regular patrols and assist with Transport Canada's Boating Safety Program. Inshore Rescue Boat units operate in the Halifax, Mahone Bay, Shediac, Charlottetown, Saint John River and Pictou areas. Recruiting for this program is also a responsibility of the SAR Branch and crews are recruited from Canadian universities.

Inshore rescue boat training in Halifax Harbour

There are nine Lifeboat Stations throughout the Maritimes Region. Six operate year-round, while the other three are seasonal. The year-round stations are located in:
Saint John, NB; Clark's Harbour, NS; Louisbourg, NS; Port Bickerton, NS; Sambro, NS and Westport, NS.

The seasonal stations operate from April until December. Their locations are as follows:
Shippagan, NB; Souris PEI and Summerside PEI.

The CCG also provides highly trained and certified personnel known as Rescue Specialists for service on the larger vessels and multi-tasked lifeboats. The SAR Branch ensures regular training and exercising is coordinated in order to ensure these personnel maintain proficiency standards.

Through the Fast Rescue Craft Course provided by skilled instructors, small boat operators are trained in the operation and safe handling of highly capable rescue boats, thereby increasing response capability and ensuring a higher standard of readiness.

Contact Information:

Superintendent: Search and Rescue,
Dartmouth, NS
(902)-426-2292

Emergency Numbers: (24 Hours)
1-800-565-1582
(902) 427-8200
Fax: (902) 427-2114

For more information on CCG’s Search and Rescue program, go to:
Search and Rescue