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Lost at Sea with the Canadian Coast Guard

By Paige Whitehead, CEO & Cofounder

Just got back from Bamfield, Vancouver Island, where Chip McCrimmon and I got to participate in The Coastal Nations Coast Guard Auxiliary (W) Inc. Search and Rescue (SAR) training! 🚁

We are working on a bioluminescent safety device we call a Bioluminescent Sea Dye Marker, or Bio-SDM for short, to help locate people lost at sea. This device can create a pool of glowing water around a person in the water. The idea is that this will help locate people faster, saving lives and saving time. To deeply understand the realities of being lost at sea and the challenges SAR teams face, we were participated in sweep pattern training, practiced performing sweeps at sea and shoreline day and night, and then were ‘live actors’ in a full SAR night time rescue!

Yes, we purposefully got stranded out on a tiny rock in the middle of the ocean at night and had to wait to get rescued. It was terrifying and incredible. It gets DARK out there!

So grateful to the Coastal Nations team for welcoming us and educating us on the pressures and challenges faced by SAR crews and Indigenous first responders along the BC coastline.

Next steps are expanding our production capacity to do full testing of the devices!

This is an example of a search pattern guide, where the last location of a vessel or person (Aka "DATUM") is known. A SAR vessel will be tasked with performing an expanding search pattern around that area. Another vessel may perform a different search pattern or sweep the shoreline.


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