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Search and Rescue: City of Oshawa Marine Rescue Association

The Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary unit COMRA (City of Oshawa Marine Rescue Association) is a dedicated Marine Search and Rescue team covering the waters of Lake Ontario in the Durham Region.

Colour photograph of a metal diecast boat called COMRA.

COMRA Die Cast Bank, Oshawa Museum Collection 015.21.2.

In 1967, a group of Oshawa boaters realized that there was a need for a rescue boat to help in times of trouble. This group then approached the City of Oshawa for their help in securing a vessel.


The City of Oshawa agreed to assist and COMRA  was developed. The boat provided was a 1961, 31ft (9.4 m) Bertram, gulf coast fishing boat with twin drives and the capability of about 34 knots. In 1968, COMRA was born.

In 1979, COMRA became one of the founding members of the COMRA. This group of rescue boats started the first volunteer marine rescue association in Canada that assisted the Canadian Coast Guard in Search and Rescue. In 1996, the Canadian Coast Guard with these groups, changed the name of the association to the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary.


Colour photograph of three people in helmets and life vests in a small orange Coast Guard rescue boat on the water. Larger red ship in the background.

COMRA practice drills at the Oshawa Harbour, date unknown.


COMRA in the Community

On average COMRA receives 45 calls a year.  Each year COMRA assists with festivities at Lakeview Park during their Canada Day celebrations, providing static boat tours of COMRA at the pier in Oshawa, as well as assistance with fireworks set up.

During these events they have provided assistance to Durham Regional Police and have successfully rescued a disabled vessel off the beach in Oshawa and another vessel rescued off the bluff of Bonnie Brae Point.

Colour photograph of five people inside a boat.

COMRA tied up to the Oshawa pier, provides tour to a young family at the Canada Festivities held at the waterfront, 2018.


COMRA Marine Rescue Association is dedicated to marine search and rescue on Lake Ontario from Newcastle to Whitby and is a proud member of the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary Central and Arctic Region.  Their on water service is from April to October 24 hours a day 7 days a week. COMRA members are dedicated to saving and protecting lives in distress.

A colour photograph of a seven people wearing red life jackets standing on a boat.

COMRA Marine Rescue Association volunteers ready to assist with search and rescue on Lake Ontario.

Delivering the message of boating safety is a year round commitment for COMRA Marine Rescue Association as well as educating the public through various community events and presentations.