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New station lands on Rankin Inlet

The community of Rankin Inlet is going to be home to an Inshore Rescue Boat station.

The announcement was made by Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Coast Guard Dominic LeBlanc on Jan. 4.

Financing for the new station will be provided by the $1.5-billion Oceans Protection Plan, which includes measures to improve marine safety and protect Canada's marine environment and coastal communities.

The station will provide seasonal search-and-rescue capabilities in the Kivalliq region, and its establishment is viewed as a step towards building stronger working relationships with Northern communities.

It is also seen as an important indicator for how Coast Guard services will be delivered in the Arctic.

The station will be operated by Indigenous students from Arctic communities, initially under the leadership of an experienced Coast Guard officer, until the crews have gotten enough experience to operate without a supervisor.

Crew members will undergo initial training alongside their southern-station counterparts in Ontario.

Initial training will include Canada's national search-and-rescue system, search patterns, boat handling, marine first aid, and radio communication.

Members of the Coast Guard were in Nunavut, the Northwest Territories and the Nunavik region of Quebec this past October to engage with community members and interested candidates about the requirements of the job, and to encourage eligible candidates to apply.