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Fishing trip turns to mayday call after boat founders off island near Nanaimo

Two adults and a toddler safe after assistance from port authority and RCM-SAR
Two adults and a toddler had to be rescued after their small boat lost engine power, took on water and sank against Snake Island near Nanaimo on Thursday. (Photo courtesy Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue Stn. 27)

Two adults and a toddler are safe after their boat took on water and foundered on rocks near Nanaimo.

Port of Nanaimo patrol vessels and Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue Stn. 27 responded to Snake Island, in the Strait of Georgia, between Stephenson Point and Gabriola Island after a mayday call Thursday, Aug. 12.

Capt. Satinder Singh, Port of Nanaimo vice-president of marine operations and harbour master, said the Nanaimo Port Authority patrol vessel MV Eagle responded to call the when it came in at about 1:10 p.m.

“They called me and said there was a mayday call that they were responding to on Snake Island … 12-13 minutes later they were on scene at Snake Island where they found an 18-foot yellow-hull power vessel foundering. There were two adults and one child that were in the water.”

The MV Eagle could not get close to the rocks on Snake Island, but Canadian Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Centre informed the NPA crew that Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue had been dispatched from Nanaimo.

Singh said the RCM-SAR team arrived within 20 minutes to retrieve the adults and child.

RCM-SAR’s smaller rescue craft was able to get close to the stricken craft and rocks to retrieve the adults and toddler.

“When we arrived we recovered the three folks – the two adults and the toddler – and then transferred them to the NPA ,” said Josh Minami, RCM-SAR Nanaimo spokesman. “Because of where they were, the Eagle couldn’t get in because around Snake Island there’s lots of reefs and rocks.”

Singh said the the adults and toddler were given blankets and warmed to prevent hypothermia and with 15 minutes were brought to the downtown boat basin where they where handed over to B.C. Ambulance Service paramedics. The three patients were checked over, found to have no injuries or hypothermia and were released.

Minami said the trio in the small craft were fishing when their boat’s motor stopped running and then it started taking on water over the transom and flooded.

A craft from C-Tow Marine Assistance recovered the disabled power boat.

READ ALSO: Ferry provides windbreak as rescuers assist sailboat in choppy seas near Nanaimo
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Chris Bush

About the Author: Chris Bush

As a photographer/reporter with the Nanaimo News Bulletin since 1998.
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