info@rcmsar2.comPO Box 37146 North Vancouver, BC V7N 4M4

Richard Novek – SAR2 Coxswain

RCMSAR2 Member Profile #2

R. Novek 3a


Director of Operations for the largest Canadian based Language School in the world, The ILSC Education Group. We’re based in Vancouver and I’ve traveled extensively opening schools outside of Canada.

How long have you been a member of RCMSAR?

I started with RCMSAR in July of 2002 when it was still known as the Coast Guard Auxiliary. In those days, paperwork wasn’t done very quickly so I didn’t get my RCM member number until February of the following year. I saw a display put up by one of the Vancouver Island Units at a summer fair and inquired as to the requirements. It turns out I had them all and was living close by the CCGA Unit at Deep Cove. I joined the following week, and after two years of hard training, RHIOT school, and many on-water taskings and activities I was made a Coxswain. I also served as Training officer and Deputy Unit leader for a number of years.

On-the water interests and/or marine background?

I learned to sail when I was 9 years old and have been a boater ever since. I owned a racing sailboat for 15 years and raced extensively. I’ve owned both power and sail boats, and enjoy chartering here in BC and abroad. I’ve also done a fair bit of wilderness kayaking in BC waters.


R. Novek 1a                       R. Novek 2a

Motivation for joining RCMSAR?

Before I was in the Education field, I was working in the Hospitality and Restaurant business and never had time to do any volunteer work. In my current position, I work a fairly normal schedule and thought it was high time I gave back something to my community. Joining RCMSAR was a way to combine my love of and knowledge of boating with my desire to help those in need of assistance. I’ve also done a lot of volunteer work as a volunteer paramedic and this fit in well with RCMSAR responsibilities.

Most memorable moments as a crew member?

I’ve always enjoyed working the fireworks festivals and over the years have probably worked more fireworks evenings than anyone else in the Station. There was a time when Coxswains were scarce and so I was the only one who was able to work all the fireworks evenings. The most memorable tasking was just after the fireworks one year as we were on our way back to base at Deep Cove. Eastbound past Berry point we noticed a large log boom being towed by a tug with a safety tug at the rear. Five minutes later I heard the rear tug captain come on the radio to say that a small boat had tried to pass between the two tugs and hit the log boom. Because we were only 10 minutes away, we called in, took the tasking and found a runabout with 5 young people on board that had literally impaled themselves on a log poking out of the log boom. We got the people off the boat, dealt with a head injury, and brought them back to Cates Park where the RCMP were waiting, as they were suspected of being impaired.

Most rewarding part of the job as a volunteer?

Knowing that you’re always prepared to help someone in distress, which is something I now always carry with me when I’m pleasure boating or even going for a drive. Seeing the look on a boaters face as we ride up in the rescue boat and hearing the gratitude after they’ve been pulled off the hard, towed to a safe harbour or lifted out of the freezing water. There’s little that can compare with the feeling of satisfaction of such a job well done, and that the hundreds of hours you’ve spent training for it, have helped another individual or family beyond words.

By Maggie Rayner

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