The Canadian Coast Guard is probably best known for its role in marine search and rescue. Coast Guard forces, including those stationed in Campbell River, are called upon as first responders in a variety of other areas, including environmental and security response.

In addition to its well-known role in marine search and rescue, the Coast Guard is the lead federal agency for all ship-source oil spills and other pollution incidents in Canadian waters.

In cases where the polluter is known and takes actions to mitigate the spill, the Coast Guard assumes the role of Federal Monitoring Officer. When the polluter is unknown or unable to respond, the Coast Guard actually assumes overall on-scene command.

Coast Guard Rescue 2

In this role, the CCG employs a National Support Team that directs human and material resources to a management site; offers international assistance in marine pollution incidents; and provides humanitarian aid in response to either natural or man-made disasters.

Though not directly under the Ministry of Defence — the Canadian Coast Guard is a special operating agency of Fisheries and Oceans Canada — it can also be called on to support marine and coastal security priorities of the federal government.

The Canadian Coast Guard provides a variety of other services, including training, to commercial and personal marine craft, ranging from aids to navigation and waterways management to marine communications and traffic services.

Joining the Canadian Coast Guard

Those who are up for the challenge of working on the sea, are a team player, excel in math and physics and like helping others can apply for a four-year program in navigation or marine engineering at the Canadian Coast Guard College in Sydney, Nova Scotia.

The program provides tuition-free education, free room and board at the college and a monthly expense allowance.

The program includes two practical sea training sessions, four to seven months long, that come with a $1,078 to $1,594 allowance per month.

The college promises employment opportunities across Canada upon successful completion of the program.

Requirements to apply include: Advanced Math 11 and 12, English or French 12 and two years of high school physics.

For more information, visit www.cgc.gc.ca