When you think about where RCMP Members work, the first image that comes to mind generally isn’t on a boat. But for this highly specialized RCMP unit, the Members home is a boat…for seven days at a time. 

The West Coast Marine Services (WCMS) is a one-of-a-kind unit that polices some of the most beautiful parts of our country, where the mountains meet the sea on the west coast. From the borders of Alaska all the way south to Washington state, they are the Members patrolling the waters and supporting remote locations with everything from post-event roadblocks on remote islands to rescue missions, even in the dead of winter. 

Since this unit is so unique, we thought we’d share some insider facts you may not know about the West Coast Marine Services strait from the Members: 

They have special training, and are constantly doing it. The WCMS attends training sessions multiple times a year, and the Members are required to know marine law on top of regular law. All Members take Transport Canada courses called Marine Emergency Duties, which consist of marine firefighting, survival craft, and basic marine safety. They also have to complete Rigid Hull Inflatable Operator Training, a one-week course hosted by the Canadian Coast Guard. Getting overwhelmed? It’s not all! These Members also learn electronic navigation training and advanced marine first aid. 

Police officer in high visibility gear jumps off a boat into water.
An RCMP Member takes part in training.

They get to see some pretty natural wonders and Canadian wildlife up close and personal. These pictures, taken by one of our Members on a patrol, should be self-explanatory. 

From grizzly bears to icebergs, you get to see some pretty spectacular sights while on patrol.

They work with a number of Canadian and American government agencies, including Fisheries, Customs, Transport Canada, the Canadian Armed Forces, the Canadian Coast Guard, the United States Coast Guard, Conservation, Search and Rescue, and a number of different police agencies. They even do joint patrols with the different agencies where they will board the RCMP vessel or vice-versa to do different types of enforcement. 

Joint patrol exercises are a great way to practice coordination and teamwork.

Members basically live with each other for a week at a time.  Living together on a boat for your seven-day shift means you have to eat on board. Luckily, the catamarans are equipped with full kitchens, so Members get to flex their cooking skills as part of the unit, preparing meals and eating together as a unit. There is even some talk of creating a cookbook based on some of the best meals made onboard!  

A good meal to celebrate a hard day of work.

Interested in learning more about the West Coast Marine Services? Watch our newly released video: