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Grimsby marine rescue group hopes to be left ‘high and dry’

Grimsby’s volunteer marine rescue team is looking for a new place to store its equipment and supplies.

GAMRU South Shore Search and Rescue is putting out a call to the community for help in finding a new location after its current facility along the Lake Ontario shoreline flooded for the third time in as many years.

Spokesman Doug Mepham notes that the group arrived last Thursday afternoon at its current location, which is in the park at the foot of Elizabeth Street and has been donated by the Town of Grimsby, to find more than a foot of water covering the floors and storage areas.

Mepham says the team believes there are suitable options within the community that they simply aren’t aware of, adding: “Someplace that’s high and dry is much more important than near the water.”

He says it has to be a location that’s easily accessible “if we need to go for parts or supplies any time of the day or night and someplace secure.”

The volunteer group had a record year for rescue missions in 2018 when it was called out 38 times. In the past three years, volunteers have answered 100 rescue calls.

Mepham suggests a number of factors have combined to get more people out on the water in recent years, including a strong economy and “moderate” fuel prices.

He adds that an increasingly popular range of affordable, human-powered craft, such as kayaks and paddleboards, have made the lake “a whole lot more accessible to a lot more people.”

By sheer volume, Mepham says “some percentage of them are going to be in trouble.”

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