On- and off-duty Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue Station 27 Nanaimo members were among those assisting after a mayday call from a boat near Five Finger Island this afternoon.
According to marine search and rescue members, the call came in about 5 p.m. Saturday, after a 19-foot vessel was taking on water, off of the Pipers Lagoon Park shore. Jerry Berry, RCMSAR Station 27 coxswain, said the Nanaimo station and coast guard from French Creek were called, and Ruth Sharun, off-duty RCMSAR Station 27 coxswain, said she was in one of two vessels that helped the occupants out before crews arrived.
A man who was rescued, was taken to hospital after returning to shore.
“A vessel of opportunity was able to intervene and took them undertow to bring them back in,” said Berry. “The vessel of opportunity turned out to be owned by one of our coxswains and so they were very fortunate to have someone of experience and when we got into the dock one of the other parties … was having medical issues.”
Sharun said there were two people on the boat that was in distress.
“One vessel was taking on water. Another vessel of opportunity was beside them … one of them went into the water, he bailed when he realized the boat was taking on water, and was pulled into the boat that was alongside them and by then, we came alongside and we took the skipper of the boat on our boat and we towed into Brechin (boat launch) and RCMSAR 27 had responded by that time and came in alongside us,” said Sharun.
Sharun said the man was treated for shock, but she didn’t know the full extent of the injuries.