Searchers gather before looking and eventually finding two women who were lost on Quadra Island back in November.

Searchers gather before looking and eventually finding two women who were lost on Quadra Island back in November.

COQUITLAM — The British Columbia government has announced more funding to search and rescue groups throughout the province to be used over the next three years.

Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth says the province is providing $18.6 million to help ground search and rescue groups with operations, training, equipment and activities.

He says the funding will also support the province’s search and rescue groups to develop and implement a new governance and funding model.

BC Search and Rescue Association president Chris Kelly says the funds will provide critical supports over the next three years, while final details are completed in the short term on a sustainable model.

This new funding is in addition to funding that the government already provides each year to cover search and rescue operational costs for deployment, training, equipment, and the insurance and liability for the 80 groups serving B.C.

The province has 2,500 registered search and rescue volunteers responding to more than 1,600 incidents each year.

The Canadian Press

The Canadian Press