B.C. Ferries, Royal Canadian Navy and Canadian Coast Guard vessels responded to a distress call due to a fire on a whale-watching boat Tuesday morning. (Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre photo)

Nanaimo ferry stops in strait after fire on nearby whale-watching boat

Incident happened Tuesday at 11:45 a.m.

A ferry from Nanaimo stopped in the middle of the strait in case it was needed to help with a distress call due to a fire on a whale-watching boat.

The incident happened at 11:45 a.m. Tuesday about halfway across the Strait of Georgia, according to Lt. Tony Wright, Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre spokesman.

The Jing Yu, a Wild Whales whale-watching boat, reported an engine fire, Wright said.

He said the B.C. Ferries vessel Queen of Cowichan was first on scene, followed by the Royal Canadian Navy patrol craft Raven, the Canadian Coast Guard hovercraft Siyay and then another coast guard craft.

“All those vessels got there and they stood by to provide assistance, but Jing Yu was able to put the fire out themself,” he said.

The 34 people on board were transported safely back to Vancouver. No injuries were reported. Wright said Wild Whales would be sending out its own vessel to retrieve the Jing Yu.

Deborah Marshall, B.C. Ferries spokeswoman, said the Queen of Cowichan’s sailing was delayed about 25 minutes.

“We were somewhat close and had we needed to launch a rescue boat or something like that, we certainly would have been prepared to do so,” she said.


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