Sarnia-Lambton MP Patricia Davidson announced over $5 million in funding for the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary (CCGA).

The auxiliary, which is a volunteer maritime rescue and safety organization, helps ensure the safety and security of mariners by helping with search and rescue exercises and responses across Canada.

Davidson said in a statement, “Here in Southern Ontario, the Great Lakes are at the core of our economic and social fabric. That is why volunteers like our Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary members are so important to our communities. Regardless of the weather conditions, members of the Auxiliary brave the elements and do whatever needs to be done for the safety and well-being of others.”

Across Canada close to 5,000 volunteers are involved in about 2,000 search and rescue missions each year, saving more than 200 lives.

Most are commercial fishers and pleasure boaters who donate their time and vessels to help with search and rescue.

Funding for CCGA goes towards search and rescue operations, training exercises and business planning, coordination and administration.

Starting in 2014, members of the CCGA with 200 hours of service are eligible for a non-refundable tax credit.