Regional search and rescue vessel dedicates new thermal imaging camera



By Ron Giofu


Colchester GuardianA search and rescue vessel that helps patrol area waterways has a new thermal imaging camera and that camera was officially dedicated last Thursday evening.

The Colchester Guardian’s thermal imaging camera was the subject of the brief ceremony at the Colchester Harbor. The camera was purchased using $7,200 in proceeds raised from a boating and fishing expo held last March at the Agricultural Building in Harrow.

The expo was sponsored by the Harrow Knights of Columbus, the Harrow Lions Club and the AMA Sportsmens’ Association.

Jason Buchanan, a member of the Harrow K of C, noted the camera picks up on heat sources and can help search and rescue crews find people if they have gone overboard or need help with their boat.

The Guardian, described as an auxiliary to the Canadian Coast Guard, stretches from Erieau to Lake St. Clair, noted AMA Sportsmens’ Association representative Chris Drew, and offers free response to vessels when called out if the Coast Guard is tied up on another call.

Buchanan said the fishing and boating expo turned into a fundraiser and said next year’s event will be held over two days. He anticipates proceeds from next year’s expo will be divided amongst a project for the Guardian and another project within the Harrow community.

Mike Drexler, the captain of the Colchester Guardian, said the thermal imaging camera is used every time the vessel goes out. The camera, mounted on top of the boat, utilizes a screen inside so that Drexler can see what the camera is reading.

The camera is not only for the safety of other vessels but for the safety of those on the Guardian as well, noting that when conditions are rough, they can use the camera to get a higher vantage point.

“We can see right through fog and smoke,” added Drexler. “It works very, very well.”

Drexler said they haven’t found anything “earth-shattering” thus far when using the camera but reiterated that it is used each time the Colchester Guardian leaves the dock.

“Like any piece of equipment, it has its applications,” he said.

Comments are closed.