Royal Canadian Navy wrap up two-day training in Barrie

About 60 Royal Canadian Navy reservists from across the province gathered in Barrie's waterfront this weekend to conduct mandatory training exercises.

The Navy training in Kempenfelt Bay caught the action of many by the waterfront.

Rick Bachhoser was watching all the action from a park bench by the Tiffin boat launch.

"It's very impressive and good to know we're covered," he says.

Ontario has seven naval reservist divisions in the province. Some of the reservists taking part this weekend are new to the team, and this is part of their mandatory training.

"We respond to requests from the province, and we have to be able to provide support to ice storms, flooding, search and rescue," says Paul Smith, the Commanding officer of HMCS. "This is the team the province will call out of required."

The teams will use parts of Simcoe County and Muskoka in the coming months.

"We are getting the team familiar with navigational hazards in the area in case we are called this way so that when the call comes, we're not stumbling over which area to be in or how to navigate," says Smith.

The 60 people involved in the teams come from right across the province, and this experience is treated like the real thing, a much different thing many are used to.

"It's very different from my background, my training, what I went to university for, but that's what I like about it; it's a completely new set of skills that I learn," says Courtney Laidler, who works for the federal government during the week.

The training will continue for this group moving forward. The teams are expected to be back in Muskoka to train for potential flooding rescues in the coming months.