Upgraded rescue craft ready to spread its wings

Osprey promises to deliver top notch service to the communities of Kent-Harrison

New Osprey promises top notch rescue on Harrison Lake.

New Osprey promises top notch rescue on Harrison Lake.

Kent Harrison Search and Rescue KHSARs Neil Brewer presented at the regular council meeting for The Village of Harrison Hot Springs on Monday Nov. 7. The group recently upgraded an Osprey vessel that promises to deliver stellar rescue support to the area. Brewer also presented on the progress and status of the new SAR building.

The Harrison Osprey has been rewired with electronics that were updated to a total of $31,000 courtesy of community gaming grants to help get the vessel up to speed as a viable rescue craft.

The osprey was used by the Robert Banks Lifeboat Station Society and is originally from England. Harrison obtained the vessel as the result of the dissolution of the group.

“It came to us with a lot of outdated electronics and needed some TLC,” said Brewer.

After repairs were made, including a set of new propellers at $9000 a piece to bring it up to code for Canada’s small vessel requirements — the osprey was put to the test and has been on Harrison Lake for over two weeks now.

“We still need to do a lot of docking practice and it really is the cat’s meow for Harrison Lake — we will finally feel safe in really bad weather,” he said.

New Sar building to be completed

The projected completion of the new SAR building located at 7664 Industrial Way next to the Fire Hall is slated for the end of Dec. 2016, according to a report provided by staff.

The 6,400 sq ft pre-engineered steel building was the result of a contract that was awarded on Apr. 22 by Nations Contracting and Consulting LTD.

Costs for the building came from a few sources including the $244,000 sale of a Gravel Pit property, a $76,000 British Columbia Search and Rescue Association grant, and $279, 500 that was self-funded.

“We made a substantial margin getting back $244,000, having invested about $190,000 over a six or seven year period, so we certainly made a lot of headway on the cost of the building by selling the property at the right time (referring to the Grave Pit property),” he said.

The building boasts five bays and three which are drive through. It also has a post-disaster rating.

“This was quite a challenge for us, especially with the funding, because the BC building code is forever changing and because we were housing emergency response equipment, it required that we have a post-disaster rating which definitely impacts the overall cost.

“The planets aligned and it’s going through and we will have an official opening with ribbon cutting and dignitaries to help us celebrate.”