NEW SAR INITIATIVES FUND
loaner program gains momentum
Sponsored by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (Canadian Coast Guard)
and funded by the New SAR Initiatives Fund (NIF) in 1997-98, the Northwest
Territories personal flotation device (PFD) loaner program was developed
to increase the awareness and use of PFDs in Eastern and Western Arctic
This program targeted the Arctic communities where high drowning rates
and limited access to PFDs were dominant problems. Through this project,
PFDs suited to the Arctic culture and environment were made available
to residents free of charge. A sign-out sheet was filled out first, and
when the user returned the PFD, they would then fill out a brief questionnaire
designed to measure user attitudes toward the borrowed product.
When NIF funding was completed in 1999, it was apparent this project
had made an impact on the communities. Not only was there a noticeable
increase in the use of PFDs in participating communities, but several
wanted to take over the program once NIF funding ended. Canadian Coast
Guard's Office of Boating Safety saw this as a positive step toward changing
attitudes related to the use of PFDs.
Not only is this project successful in the Arctic, but it is gaining
momentum in Newfoundland and Labrador as well. The PFD loaner program
is available to residents in the Northern Labrador communities of Nain,
Hopedale, Postville, Makkovik and Rigolet. For more information on the
PFD loaner program in these communities, contact the Department of Fisheries
and Oceans in Newfoundland and Labrador at (709) 722-7633, or visit
number: DFO 22/97
SAR book translated into French
Merry's influential book called Basic Ground SAR in Canada: A Home
Study Guide is being used all across Canada and is referred to as
one of the best basic training reference books for ground search and rescue
(GSAR). The book covers basic ground search and rescue topics ranging
from map and compass use, to first aid and evacuation plans and to modern
search techniques used in the field.
Until this year, it was only available in English, but the Sureté
du Québec, the project sponsor, recognized the need for Mr. Merry's
book for French speaking GSAR groups. Sponsored by the New SAR Initiatives
Fund (NIF), the translation project was approved in 2000 and the book
is available for $25 to SAR volunteers and $30 for the public. For more
information call (450) 974-1551. Wayne Merry is a ground SAR expert based
in Atlin, B.C.
Project number: QC 1/00
Canada sponsors new tidal atlas for sea kayakers
To reduce the number of sea kayak incidents in the Mingan Archipelago-Gulf
of St. Lawrence area, employees of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans,
Canadian Hydrographic Service, l'Organisme de prévention et de
sécurité and sponsor, Parks Canada, created the Atlas of
Tidal Currents on CD. With this atlas, sea kayakers will be able to anticipate
and avoid dangerous tides, and hopefully reduce the number of SAR incidents
prevention and response program approved in 2001 and funded by the New
SAR Initiatives Fund (NIF), the Atlas covers the Mingan Archipelago, between
the islands of Aux Perroquets and La Grande Pointe, QC.
For each section the Atlas covers, there are 12 currents charts that
show typical tides that occur every half day, or semi-diurnally. With
the existing CD, currents are shown for any day between the years 2003
and 2007. Accompanying the Atlas is a mini-guide telling the user how
to use the Atlas correctly and discussing tides typically found in the
Available in both French and English, the Atlas will be updated every
five years and is available from Parks Canada.
Project number: PC 2/01
Sensing Shoreline for Northern Labrador
by Steve Forbes
Supported by the New SAR Initiatives Fund (NIF), this project addresses
the serious lack of up-to-date coastal information on Canadian Hydrographic
Service (CHS) charts, particularly from Nain, Labrador north to the Button
Islands. The objective is to create shoreline provisional paper charts
in Northern Labrador and investigate the production of electronic charts.
control point: Okak Bay, Labrador, July 2003
Project partners include the CHS Atlantic Region, Department of Fisheries
and Oceans and the Surveys and Mapping Division (SMD), Department of Government
Services and Lands, Newfoundland and Labrador.
The aerial photography was collected with GPS positions for each frame
and camera rotation was collected by an inertial measurement system. The
photography is currently being scanned and in conjunction with the GPS
ground control will be analyzed and processed digitally to produce accurate
shoreline for the southern section of the project. An evaluation of the
GPS controlled aerial photography will determine if it is possible to
reduce the ground control density for next year's data collection.
It is anticipated that the collection of aerial photography in 2004 during
the July and August will result in a larger volume of data and a reduced
per kilometre cost for data collection.
Project number: DFO 10/03
imaging system improves aerial SAR
The enhanced low-light visible infra-red surveillance system, or ELVISS
for short, has been in development since the early 1990s, to help aerial
SAR missions, especially at night and in low-visibility conditions. It
brings low-light level television, infra-red and night vision goggles
technology together in one effective system.
is an optical multi-sensor surveillance system that helps SAR Techs locate
people, aircraft and boats more efficiently than before. The system has
a video tracker, laser range finder and geo-referencing to give accurate
geo-positioning on the ground.
Developed by Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) and funded
in part by the New SAR Initiatives Fund (NIF), the project began with
an earlier version called ALBEDOS and has evolved into ELVISS, including
the addition of an infra-red component. On its own, infra-red is not enough
to see or sense people in inclement weather, but with the new technology
of the laser illuminator, call numbers on aircraft can be seen quite clearly
at night and in bad weather.
DRDC is working on a newer version of ELVISS called SPARTACUS that will
improve the mounting unit of this multi-sensor technology on aircraft
to increase accuracy and efficiency.
Project number: DND 2/00
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