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Kugluktuk Search and Rescue gets an upgrade

Kugluktuk Search and Rescue launched their newest addition "The Coppermine" on Sept. 14 at 6 p.m. in rough waters while winds gusted to 40 km per hour.

Members of the search and rescue team getting ready to test drive the new boat are Roger Hitkolok left, in cab, Baba Pedersen, Jack Himiak, David Nivingalok and Larry Adjun. Rita Pigalak/NNSL photo

The 28-foot boat, equipped with two 200 horsepower Yamaha motors, was purchased from Fab-Tech (Silver Dolphin) based in Glovertown, Nfld.

The Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary (CCGA) has two other auxiliary boats based in Kugluktuk, a 22-foot Zag Fab belonging to Jack Himiak, unit leader for Kugluktuk's Search and Rescue, as well as a 34-foot Lewiston belonging to Kerry Horn. The newest addition to the auxiliary was purchased with CCGA funds as well as a new building to house the boat. All Nunavut communities are expected to purchase boats and buildings for storage through Canadian Coast Guard funding.

Himiak said, "We are happy with the new boat, we will have to install additional items such as camping gear, storage containers, et cetera. The launching of the boat was a little difficult, but more training and getting used to the boat will help in time."

He added that all seven members of the Search and Rescue unit have received training through the Canadian Coast Guard and they are hoping to add another member to their team in the near future.

"It is very important to have a boat this size to do searches and patrolling due to the fast changing weather."