News Feed moved to facebook

September 27, 2014Posted by Mike Drexler


In order to streamline our administration, we have moved our web site news feed to our facebook wall. Please check the link below.

CCGA Operational Merit Medals Awarded

September 27, 2014Posted by Mike Drexler


Four members of the unit (including two officers) received Operational Merit Medals from the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary for their part in saving 9 lives on Lake Erie.

The Medal of Operational Merit is awarded to Auxiliarists in recognition of superior skill in per- forming an assist, or rescue, or other meritorious operational service. The award recognizes deeds or activities performed in an outstanding professional manner and/or of an uncommonly high standard that brings considerable benefit to the accomplishment of the CCGA mission.

Rescue on Lake Erie was aided by volunteers

July 18, 2014Posted by Mike Drexler


The ALL VOLUNTEER crew of the Colchester Guardian responds to rescue taskings like this one from the Joint Rescue Coordination Center. Please WEAR your PFD or life jacket while on a boat. You never know when or how quickly you might end up in the water!

Back on the hard for the winter

March 8th and 9th, 2014Posted by Mike Drexler


The second annual Knights of Columbus Harrow Council 5350 Fishing and Boating Expo was a great success! The hundreds of people that attended enjoyed perch dinners, great deals from many vendors and had the opportunity to see our FLIR thermal imager live in action! A special thanks goes out to the Harrow K of C, AMA Sportsmen, and the many donors, volunteers and supporters that helped make the event and our lifesaving efforts possible. THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT!

Back on the hard for the winter

Nov 23, 2013Posted by Mike Drexler


2013 was another successful season for the Colchester Guardian. Milestones this year included several taskings, inter-agency cooperation and donation of a FLIR thermal imager by the Harrow Knights of Columbus 5350.

Thank you to all our supporters, SAR crew and volunteers!

On the Water with Canadian Coast Guard

August 17, 2013Posted by Mike Drexler


On the water exercises with the CCGS Cape Lambton and a wonderful crew from CCG Base Amherstburg. Thanks for an excellent day!

Photos of the event are posted in the photo gallery.

WF Herman Secondary School Field Trip

June 7th, 2013Posted by Mike Drexler


Students form WF Herman Secondary School visited the Colchester Guardian and learned about the Canadian SAR System, charting and some of the equipment that we use to save lives on the water. !

FLIR Thermal Imager

June 1, 2013Posted by Mike Drexler


The Colchester Guardian now has a FLIR 625L thermal imager installed on the boat. This unit displays an image based on heat (infrared radiation), not light. Operational uses include locating persons in the water, navigation and sighting in reduced visibility (e.g., night, fog, smoke, haze, etc.) !

A special thank you goes out to the Harrow Knights of Columbus Council 5350 for their generous donation! Your continued support made the Colchester Guardian into a world class SAR vessel!

On The Water and Back In Service

May 19, 2013Posted by Mike Drexler


The Colchester Guardian is back on the water and in service with some new equipment. Thanks to all the donors, supporters, our great volunteers and crew for helping to save lives on the water! !

Harrow Knights of Columbus Fishing & Boating Expo

March 9th, 2013Posted by Mike Drexler


The Harrow Knights of Columbus Council 5350 is hosting a Fishing & Boating Expo at 34 McAfee Street in Harrow on March 9th, 2013 from 9am to 5pm. Proceeds from the event will go towards purchasing a FLIR Thermal Imaging Camera for the Colchester Guardian. The FLIR camera will help us locate vessels and persons in the water faster and easier both night and day.

See the facebook event page for more information:

On the Hard for the Winter

November 10, 2012Posted by Mike Drexler


After a successful first season, the Colchester Guardian is now stored for the winter. But, that doesn't mean that the work is over. Minor repairs, adjustments and improvements will be made over the winter.!

Ferry MV Jiimaan Freed

October 12, 2012Posted by Mike Drexler


After the weather calmed down, a hull inspection and assistance from the tug Wyoming, the ferry was freed from the sand bout 24 hours after running aground. The Colchester Guardian was also on scene. Photos, News links and videos are posted below:

Ferry MV Jiimaan Aground at Kingsville

October 11, 2012Posted by Mike Drexler


The passenger and car ferry MV Jiimaan ran aground on the sand just outside Kingsville Harbour. News footage links below:

Vote to Support us for $100,000

October 1, 2012Posted by Mike Drexler


Vote for us on the Aviva Community Fund Web Site and help support our cause with up to $100,000 in funding!

Summer's over but training and boating season aren't!

September 23, 2012Posted by Mike Drexler


Cooler fall temperatures are here. Colchester Guardian Rescue would like to remind all mariners to wear appropriate exposure protection and always wear your life jacket or PFD!

Our crew doesn't stop training just because the weather is cooler. Photos of our most recent training are posted in the photo gallery.

Colchester Celebrates War of 1812 Bicentennial

July 21, 2012Posted by Mike Drexler


The Town of Essex and Colchester Centre celebrated 200 years of peace with the USA at the War of 1812 Bicentennial this weekend. Several hundred people were in attendance. The Colchester Guardian SAR Crew and volunteers were also there ensuring safe passage of the Tall Ship Brigantine St. Lawrence II.

Photos of the event are posted in the photo gallery.

Two SAR Taskings in Two Days !

June 24, 2012Posted by Mike Drexler


A typical summer weekend yielded two SAR taskings with great success for the Colchester Guardian. Once again the dedication and hard work of the crew proved successful.

" Special thanks to my dedicated crew. Two calls in two days and I have witnessed a level of professionalism far beyond expectations. Great job everyone!"

            -- Jan Barnewall, Unit Leader, CCGA Unit 527

Secondary Sea Trials a Success !!

May 31, 2012Posted by Mike Drexler


Secondary sea trials were completed with great success with very few minor adjustments required. The skill of our structural engineer was verfied with expected waterline levels and laminar flow characteristics aft of the engine pod. Vessel speeds proved to be higher than anticipated with a top speed of 28 knots as verified by GPS. Cruising speeds were also higher and a broader than expected range of between 15 and 22 knots. Initial manoeuvres indicate a very stable, nimble and responsive vessel capable of handling rough conditions.

The overall unanimous conclusion is that the Colchester Guardian is a very seaworthy vessel that is well suited to the area of responsibiliy in which she will operate. Special thanks go out to all the volunteers, crew, families and donors that helped make the Colchester Guardian the premier volunteer marine rescue unit on the Great Lakes!

Photos of our sea trials can be found in the photo gallery. Videos will also be posted in our Youtube channel very soon.

W.F. Herman Visits the Colchester Guardian

May 31, 2012Posted by Mike Drexler


Students from W.F. Herman Secondary School in Windsor came out to the Colchester Guardian dock as part of a geography field trip. Coxswain Barnewall, Unit Maintenance Offcier Drexler and Crewman Prieur were on deck to show students the vessel, it's equipment, buoyant heaving line use and some basics about marine navigation. See the the photo gallery for pictures of the day.

Colchester Guardian First Fuelling

May 30, 2012Posted by Mike Drexler


Just over 100 litres shy of completely filling all three tanks, 527 litres of fuel were transferred for her first fillup. Incidentally, our Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary unit number is also 527! A special thanks to Agris for the generous fuel donation! Photos of the fillup and fuelling crew are posted in the gallery.

Colchester Guardian Christened May 19th, 2012!

May 19, 2012Posted by Mike Drexler


Over 75 people attended the launch and Christening of the Colchester Guardian on May 19th, 2012. Dignitaries in attendance included Essex Mayor Ron McDermott, Councillor Sherry Bondy, Councillor John Scott, Councillor Bill Baker, Councillor Morely Bowman, several Essex Town Staff, OPP Inspector Rick Derus, Canadian Coast Guard, Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary, local EMS, Essex Fire Department, and many more!

The vessel is now docked in Colchester Harbour awaiting final minor fitout and sea trials. Photos of the event are posted in the the gallery.

Special thanks to our VIP's, volunteers, families and the entire community that helped us launch the vessel!

Christening set for May 19th!

May 12, 2012Posted by Mike Drexler


Speedy progress by a core group of highly dedicated and skilled volunteers will allow us to go through with launch plans later this week! Stay tuned for further updates!

Vessel Refit Underway!

May 8, 2012Posted by Mike Drexler


With painting complete, we've begun to install many of the vessel's critical systems such as sanitation, fuel, pumps, electrical, etc. Multiple equipment and construction delays are now cleared allowing the refit to progress rapidly before launch.

Painting complete and CCGA Inspection

April 28, 2012Posted by Mike Drexler


Fabrication and painting of the vessel are complete with new pictures posted on the web site in the gallery. Installation of the outboard motors and all other ships systems will begin this week!

The Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary also sent personnel to inspect the hull and equipment today!

First 4 crew members receive SAR Basic training!

March 25, 2012Posted by Mike Drexler


Wonly a few seats available, the first four of many volunteer crew members received their Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary SAR Basic training this weekend! Congratulations to all on their successful course completion! As space in the training sessions allow, more crew will be added in the near future. Our goal is to having multiple complete crews to allow for maximum availability and a rotation for each crew to have a stand down period.

St. Patrick's Day Perch Fish Fry Fundraiser

March 17, 2012Posted by Mike Drexler


With much fanfare and the help of the Harrow Kinsmen, the 1st Annual Colchester Guardian Fish Fry kicked off on St. Patricks Day at the Harrow Fairgrounds. The event helped raise some much needed money to help get the boat in the water! Some awesome items went up for auction as the beer, spiked green slushies and Cabo Wabo jello shots went down! A Taylor Hall signed jersey, a hockey stick signed by all the Windsor Spitfires, a spa package, a night at the casino with tickets to see Kevin Costner, a Colchester Guardian Rescue official CCG approved life ring and captain of the Colchester Guardian rescue boat for a day were just some of the great items that fetched great bids! Cool Colchester Guardian green t-shirts ($15) and great 12" x 24" cutting boards ($25) are available ONLINE HERE and at the International Diner in Harrow while supplies last!

Special thanks go to the Harrow Kinsmen, the CGRI volunteers and all those in attendance! Your valuable support truly does go to saving lives on the water!

The boat is on the move!

March 10, 2012Posted by Mike Drexler


After an enormouse amount of work (~500 man hours), the boat was moved to Maden Industrial Ltd. for major metal fabrication, sandblasting and painting. It will be back in a few weeks for volunteers to install her engines, fuel systems, engines, electronics, electrical and more.

Photos of the move are posted in the gallery !

Volunteers Hard Work Continues

February 13, 2012Posted by Mike Drexler


Thanks to the almost 500 man hours of work by our dedicated volunteers, the boat is close to going out for motor mount fabrication, sandblast, paint and installation of the twin outboard engines!

Updated photos and videos are posted in the gallery !

Work on the boat makes great progress!

December 27, 2011Posted by Mike Drexler


With great enthusiasm and some talented hard working volunteers, the vessel is now stripped back to her frames in preparation for fabrication, painting and repowering. Both of the aging fuel tanks were removed and any of the components that are salvageable will be re-used.

Special thanks to all the volunteers! What you did today was amazing!

More photos are posted in the gallery !

First Volunteers Meeting Well Attended

December 16, 2011Posted by Mike Drexler


Despite the busy time of the season, several individuals heeded the call for volunteers. The experience represented included skilled trades, medical specialists, retired Navy and several very talented individuals. Thank you all for attending and we look forward to working with you!

Special thanks to Mr. Brian Gray of the Harrow Family Health Team for hosting the meeting!

Work on the boat begins!

December 8, 2011Posted by Mike Drexler


The directors of Colchester Guardian Rescue couldn't wait to get started! The boat is being stripped of all unuseable, saleable and re=useable items in preparation for the metal fabrication work, painting and re-powering.

More photos are posted in the gallery !

The Colchester Guardian Arrives!

November 16, 2011Posted by Mike Drexler


With generous support from the Harrow Kinsmen, Mr. Rick Doyle of Sharp Edge Tool Ltd. and a donation from Mr. Jeff Watson (Essex Town Planner) and family, we have purchased the vessel and transported her to Windsor for the winter. The steel hulled vessel sat in a boat yard in Sarnia for 8 years prior to being resurrected by the CGRI. To be Christened the "Colchester Guardian" upon launch in the spring, the 28-foot, 6 tonne vessel will undergo a complete refit of engine, drive train, fuel system, electrical systems, new marine electronics, interior and exterior painting and refurbishment.

Colchester Guardian as she sat in the boat yard for 8 years!
Colchester Guardian in transit from Sarnia to Windsor.
Colchester Guardian in the shop for her refit.

Essex Town Council Approves

November 7, 2011Posted by Mike Drexler


Following a brief presentation by Mr. Jan Barnewall, District Training Coordinator, Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary, Essex Town Council unanimously approved support of Colchester Guardian Rescue!

Ontario Provincial Police Support

November 4, 2011Posted by Mike Drexler


Essex County OPP Detachment Commander voices support for the establishment of a Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary vessel to be stationed in Colchester Harbour. According to the Detachment Commander, "The Detroit/Windsor/Essex County area is one of the largest recreational boating areas in North America... A Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary vessel operating out of Colchester Harbour would address a noticeable gap in our combined efforts to provide a timely response to marine incidents occurring in that area."

CGRI is formed!

October 29, 2011Posted by Mike Drexler


Assembled by a group of three community champions, the first meeting of the board of directors of Colchester Guardian Rescue Inc. is called to order. Mr. Jan Barnewall, Mr. Mike Drexler and Mr. Dan Sauve will each serve as directors of the organization.