Three men are lucky to be alive after their sports fishing boat overturned Saturday, off of Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point.
Ucluelet Fire Rescue (UFR) was called to the scene at 11:47 a.m. April 2 after bystanders reported the capsized vessel and people in the water. Fire Chief Rick Geddes said the three aboard were able to swim to shore. One individual suffered a fracture leg injury.
“We encourage people to check conditions before they go out on the water. Saturday was a particularly stormy day to be out on a pleasure craft. (The rescue) was a little bit of work. We had to use our quad to transport the patients,” said Geddes, noting that nine members of UFR responded to the call.
“I just want really thank the efforts of our firefighters. It really took all of them to get these patients up to safety. They did a great job. It was horrible conditions. I was concerned for the safety of my members,” he said.
The Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) Tofino lifeboat station, the Bamfield lifeboat station and a Cormorant helicopter from 442 Squadron Comox were tasked to respond to the search and rescue incident as well, but were stood down after they were made aware that BC’s Emergency Health Services (EHS) and the local fire department were able to reach the location via land. Two vessels of opportunity that responded to a Mayday broadcast were also stood down, according to a statement from the CCG.
The following day, Ucluelet musician and cinematographer Geoff Johnson saw a post on social media about helping locate the dry bag of personal belongings that was tossed from the boat. He flew his drone around the spot where he thought the dry bag would be and with the help of the Find My iPhone app, he was able to narrow the location of the orange bag.
He found it near a cliff wall, in the rocks amongst the trees, about 300-feet from where the iPhone pin had indicated.
“Other people were scouring the beach too. I’m just part of a good group of people in the community that were trying to help out the visitors,” said Johnson.