Susan will talk about her career, building confidence on the water, and what prepared her to pack up her family and set sail. She will also talk about some of her rescue experiences at sea, early notification to SAR and how to take the "search" out of search and rescue.
Susan is a graduate from the Canadian Coast Guard College where she obtained a Watchkeeping Mate Certificate and a BSc, Nautical Sciences. She started her career as a Ship’s Navigation Officer onboard Coast Guard ships on the west coast. She worked her way up to command before transferring to the hovercraft unit at Sea Island in 1996. As a Hovercraft Captain she was in charge of a crew of 7 operating a 33 metre craft capable of travelling at 63 knots. She responded to hundreds of search and rescue incidents including high profile ones such as the Cap Rouge II and the Incisor. Susan headed shoreside in 2010 to take charge of the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC) in Victoria. For the next 7 years she held this position which is responsible for the maritime search and rescue incidents for all of Western region, averaging over 3000 cases a year. Last year Susan accepted a position as Superintendent, Vessels of Concern which is a new program for the Coast Guard responsible for the effective management of wrecked, abandoned and derelict vessels on the coast. In 2012, Susan, her husband and three young children took 16 months to sail to New Zealand and back on their 13.1-metre, Taiwanese-built Hans Christian ketch, Long Shot II.