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Coast Guard's arctic marine unit prepares for northern journey in Parry Sound

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The Canadian Coast Guard is spending two weeks in Parry Sound training its new hires for its Artic Marine Response station in Rankin Inlet.

The training exercise is taking place on Georgian Bay.

"Parry Sound and Georgian Bay are great areas for the Arctic crews to train because the geography is very similar to that of Rankin Inlet. It has a rocky shoreline, and there are some areas that are more difficult to navigate than others," said Emma Moore, Search and Rescue senior officer.

The eight-member crew will focus on real-life rescues, including situations like a missing boater, a vessel breakdown, and medical emergencies.

Friday's training focused on water rescues.

"It is quite intense, we're putting in long days, so it does wear you down a little, but again, that's good for our environment that we will be working in. We're going to be out on long calls. We'll be tired, we'll be hungry, so it's good to understand your own feelings and how you react to that," said Lane Weislein with the Canadian Coast Guard.

People in the Party Sound area will notice plenty of boats and aircraft in the area as part of the training over the next week.

The Coast Guard said the nice weather is fine for today, but it's hoping to see a wide variety of weather for training purposes.

"The conditions can change on the water very, very quickly, so being able to train in various conditions is very important and being to train on various topics is also a key factor in making sure our crews are prepared to respond to anything on the water," said Moore.

Brandon Robertson is taking part in the training exercise. "Rankin itself is going to be totally different. I'm from Manitoba, just north of Winnipeg, so being in Rankin is going to be a new environment with different cultures and animals to see. I'm pretty excited even though I don't really know what to expect," he said.

The new Coast Guard members will be back for another week of training in Parry Sound next week. The crew will be positioned in place in Rankin Inlet sometime next month.

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