Marine Medics of the Gulf Islands

Marine Medics of the Gulf Islands

“One Team—One Goal Working Together For Life”

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Canoe Cove Restaurant is a way station for paramedics and crew involved in British Columbia’s only dedicated ocean going ambulance vessel.  The 28 foot high speed craft commenced operations from the Cove in January 2010.  Since then she has performed over 500 medevac runs.

The 28 foot Argo aluminum ambulance boat, ASHLEY, carries two paramedics and a captain.  Twin Volvo 210 HP diesel engines give her a top speed of 35 knots. “We cover the Southern Gulf Islands,” said skipper Sarah Powell, one of four certified captains licensed to operate the boat.  “Mostly we’re dispatched to Pender Island, Galliano Island, Mayne Island and Saturna, and sometimes, Saltspring Island.  We’re on call 24 hours a day and have to be at the boat within fifteen minutes notice.

“In 35 years of operation we’ve enjoyed a perfect safety record,” said Hughes recently.”

Gulf Islands Water Taxi in Ganges, Saltspring Island, owns the ASHLEY.  Victoria resident Jack Hughes has owned and operated the firm for the past 35 years.  For many years his water taxi, GANGES HAWK, acted as a part time medevac boat for the B.C. Ambulance Service, amongst her other duties.

The ASHLEY has been fitted out with the same equipment as a land based ambulance, including stretcher rack, spine boards, oxygen, and Entonox gas for pain relief.  In the most critical cases a medevac helicopter will be dispatched and in extreme weather the Canadian Coast Guard provides the ultimate backup to both ASHLEY and B.C. Ambulance Service helicopters

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