The Brighton Auxiliary Rescue Unit (BARU) is a registered federal charity and provincial not-for-profit organization dedicated to Saving Lives on the Water. Based out of the Bay Street Municipal Marina in Presqu’ile Bay, we have been saving lives and providing Search and Rescue services at no cost to anyone who requires assistance. In operation for over 11 years, we are entirely staffed by local volunteers and provide our services 24/7 throughout the boating season. Working with the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre and allied agencies including the Brighton Fire Department, 424 Squadron, OPP, Cobourg Coast Guard and Wellington Auxiliary Coast Guard, we provide on-the-water coverage to Brighton area waters and provide mutual assistance aid to over 600 square miles including Lake Ontario from Colborne to the Murray Canal to the US border, Weller’s Bay and Presqu’ile Bay.
We are actively raising funds to replace our current rescue boat, a 35 year old pleasure craft, not well suited for a Search and Rescue role. Maintenance costs are becoming prohibitive alongside serious performance limitations in shallow waters, weedy areas or rough open waters of Lake Ontario. If an adverse circumstance prevents our unit from responding to a distress call in our area, an alternative rescue vessel would be launched from Belleville or Cobourg with a corresponding increase in response time measured in hours, leading to an increased likelihood of loss of life.
We have identified an exceptional replacement rescue boat currently on the market at a fraction of the cost of a brand new one. The Firestorm 30 under consideration is a reconditioned, purpose-built boat designed for the life-saving work we do in a variety of weather and marine conditions. This strategic purchase will enhance BARU’s capacity to provide these life-savings services and will ensure long-term continuity and emergency marine services for Brighton’s residents, tourists and water-users.
Our fundraising goal is $125,000. Rescue boats such as the Firestorm 30 are exceedingly rare on the used market and we recognize we must move quickly to secure this vessel, failing which a third party may acquire it.
While we receive support from the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary (CCGA), these funds are for training purposes only. The CCGA is specifically prohibited from reimbursing member units for the purchase of capital assets, including rescue boats. Many local community organizations have provided support for our rescue boat fund including:
- 100 Women Brighton;
- Presqu'ile Yacht Club;
- Pare's Home Hardware;
- Brighton Dragon Boat Club;
- Firehouse Subs;
- Brian Todd Memorial;
- RBC Wealth Management; and
- Monetary donations from many community members.
As part of our ongoing fundraising efforts, we are continuing with our Donate a Boat program. Donors are provided with a tax receipt and we sell their boat.
Please consider donating to our New Rescue Boat fund to help Brighton Auxiliary Rescue Unit keep Saving Lives on the Water.