Frequently Asked Questions

How many volunteers does TOWARF have?

There are about 50 search and rescue crew members and administrative members currently working within TOWARF.

Will TOWARF assist in emergencies outside of the Oakville area?

Although our boundaries are between the St. Lawrence cement plant and the Shell pier, TOWARF will respond anywhere in the west end of Lake Ontario at the direction of the Canadian Coast Guard and further if requested.

What experience do TOWARF members posses?

Members have basic Search and Rescue, Restricted Radiotelephone Operator's Certificate (Maritime), Pleasure Craft Operator Card, Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary Seamanship course, First Aid & CPR and outside courses from the Canadian Power Squadron and Canadian Yachting Association.  All courses are kept current.

How old do I have to be to join TOWARF?

An individual must be 18 years of age to join TOWARF

Why does TOWARF have "Air" in its name?
When TOWARF began in 1954 a number of local pilots used their personal aircraft to assist in searches. Now the 424 (Tiger) Squadron from CFB Trenton provides airborne search and rescue in our area. To fulfill this role, 424 Squadron  flies the CH-146 Griffon helicopter (temporarily replacing the CH-149 Cormorant) and the Lockheed CC-130 Hercules.

How is TOWARF funded?

TOWARF receives an operating grant from the Town of Oakville, which covers a large part of the funding requirements.

Are donations accepted?

Most definitely.

Does TOWARF offer safety boat inspections and if so, how much do they cost?

TOWARF has several members that are trained by the Office of Boating Safety to provide vessel inspections.  TOWARF inspectors canvas the local marinas offering these inspections.  There is no charge for these inspections. Learn more at our PCCC Page.


TOWARF patrols begin at the end of April and continue until October 31st

Monday to Wednesday crew Patrols: 18:00 hrs to 22:00 hrs

Weekend and Holiday Patrols: 12:00 hrs to 20:00 hrs

TOWARF's Searchmaster is on call 24/7.   When reached by pager from Trenton Joint Rescue Coordination Centre or Halton Regional Police Service Dispatch, the Searchmaster can assemble a crew for any after hours emergency.


TOWARF patrols the shoreline between Burloak Drive (Oakville/Burlington border) and Winston Churchill Boulevard(Oakville/Mississauga border) and approximately 10 miles out from shore.


Supported by the Town of Oakville and Local Boaters
Unit # 008 of the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary

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