EC-SAR, the Eckerd College Search and Rescue Team is one of the most respected rescue organizations on the west coast of Florida. They are known to many boaters, since they get more than 500 rescue calls per year, but too few people know that they work closely with the US Coast Guard, 911 medical response and other state and local agencies. Due to their location, they are often the first responders to a disaster. In 1980 EC-SAR found national prominence when they were one of the first rescue units to the Skyway Bridge disaster.
EC-SAR is a unique curriculum program at Eckerd that I don’t think is duplicated at any other college. Students go through very rigorous training in boating safety, navigation, seamanship, rescue, fire fighting, and more. The students who staff EC-SAR are dedicated professionals. They utilize four rescue boats and have an operations and communication center that is staffed 24/7. Last fall they celebrated 40 years of service, saving lives.