Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to the men and women of the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary, maritime region. The auxiliary's 16 directors, under the able chairmanship of Frank McLaughlin, just completed its annual meeting in Halifax. This volunteer organization, which is staffed primarily by fishing captains and their crews, successfully participate in over 200 search and rescue missions annually.
Under the direction of the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Halifax, the Coast Guard Auxiliary Maritimes was tasked to go to sea in over 5,200 missions since it was formed in 1978. These 732 skilled mariners are constantly upgrading their search and rescue skills and risk their lives to ensure that those in peril on the sea are brought back to land safely.
I wish to pay tribute to and give thanks for the brave service and high level of technical capability these courageous volunteers provide for all Canadians and indeed all international mariners who travel the waters off our east coast.