• James Armstrong

Coast Guard Nautical Rescue Station possible for Hudson


PHOTOBY JAMES ARMSTRONG

There could be a new lease on life for Hudson’s wharf with proposed nautical rescue station.

Hudson Town Council passed a preliminary position resolution at the monthly meeting Monday, June 5, that allows for discussions to take place between the municipality and the federal government concerning the installation of a Nautical Rescue Station in Hudson.

Requirements

Councillor Barbara Robinson made some of the details public in the reading of the resolution. The requirements include an 800 square-foot building with a five to 10-year lease agreement, connections to sanitation facilities, potable water, and electricity. Parking for a watercraft trailer and three parking spaces for students, and safe docking facilities for a 7.33 metre watercraft are also required. There were also stipulations regarding high water marks and protection for the riverbank.

Projected timeline

The project, if accepted by both parties, is to be implemented by mid-May 2018 with an agreement in place by July, 2017. The goal of the project is to oversee boating safety on the Ottawa River and Lake of Two Mountains.

Benefits

According to the document read by Robinson, the Hudson community will benefit from increased security for citizens, increased employment, and a partnership between Hudson Emergency Services and the Government of Canada.

Possible locations

Although the resolution did not indicate where the project would be built, the topic of the location for the project was discussed during the question period at the end of the meeting.

“Maybe we need to think about resurrecting the old wharf,” said resident Marcus Owen. The ensuing discussion raised the issue of ownership of the wharf located at the end of Wharf Road on the Ottawa River east of the Hudson Yacht Club. Mayor Ed Prévost resolved that issue in an interview on Tuesday, June 27.

“It belongs to the town,” said Prévost. His assertion was further corroborated in a conversation with former Mayor Michael Elliott on Wednesday, June 28.

“The federal government sold the wharf to the town several years ago for a dollar,” said Elliott. He recounted how a similar situation happened in various municipalities with wharves belonging to the federal government along the river. The end result was that the towns became responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the facilities. Jack Layton Park is also a possible location for the project.

“We are very pleased to be negotiating with them to implement this project,” said Hudson’s Director General Jean-Pierre Roy on Wednesday, June 28. “We want it very much for the Town of Hudson and the region,” he added. Roy wasn’t able to give any further details about the project. He noted that other towns are also being considered for the project.

The project is under the jurisdiction of the Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Canadian Coast Guard Inshore Rescue Boat Service Program (IRB Service). According to their web site, the IRB Service was created in the mid 1970s as part of the government’s Career Oriented Summer Employment Program. The goal of the program that later became the Federal Student Work Experience Program was to provide post-secondary students with training, mentoring, and real life experience in the area of water safety search and rescue operations. Currently, the Canadian Coast Guard hires and trains student candidates to become members of IRB crew. Two crews of three people usually run each installation.

“We are very willing to have this station,” said Roy. “Better access to the water is safer access.”

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