B.C. Ferries crew launched a rescue boat to help a boat in distress outside Tsawwassen on Thursday night. (KENT HEGGART photo)

Ferry responds to flares, assists boaters in distress near Tsawwassen

Rescue boat launched from B.C. Ferries’ Queen of Alberni on Thursday night

A ferry responded to distress flares and helped a boat return safely to port on rough seas last night.

The Queen of Alberni sailing from Tsawwassen to Nanaimo circled back to help a family on a boat that had lost power, a witness said.

Kent Heggart said about half an hour after the ferry left Tsawwassen, passengers spotted flares and alerted crew. The ferry had already passed the boat in distress, but doubled back.

“They shone the spotlights, found the boat,” Heggart said. “I don’t know how they found the boat, because they had lost all electrical power, so basically their navigation system and all the electricity was out.”

He said two ferries crew members piloted a zodiac to meet the 38-foot boat and the family, and stayed until a Canadian Coast Guard hovercraft was able to escort the boat, which still had fuel, to port.

Heggart suggested the operation was made more dramatic due to the rough seas.

“The zodiac had taken on so much water that their pump couldn’t keep up and the boys were soaked,” he said.

Heggart said the ferry had left Tsawwassen 30 minutes after its scheduled 8:15 p.m. departure.

“Maybe it was a good thing we were late. Some things happen for a reason,” he said.

He said crew provided regular updates, and at one point the captain announced free hot chocolate and coffee for everybody, “which of course everybody gladly took.”

Heggart said passengers cheered the rescue and were proud to have been a small part of it, and didn’t mind B.C. Ferries getting them back to Nanaimo far behind schedule.

“It didn’t matter…” he said. “Who else was going to help these people? It was a beautiful thing to see.”

A service notice from the ferry corporation late Thursday night noted that the Queen of Alberni was 115 minutes behind schedule “due to assisting a vessel in distress in conjunction with the coast guard.”

READ ALSO: On the bridge with B.C. Ferries

READ ALSO: Hybrid Gabriola vessels part of B.C. Ferries’ plans to reduce emissions

READ ALSO: B.C. Ferries asks for input on Horseshoe Bay terminal concepts



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

North Delta crime beat, week of Oct. 6

A selection of property crimes submitted weekly by the Delta Police Department

$50,000 reward for ‘extremely violent’ South Surrey murder suspect renewed

Offer for information on Brandon Teixeira to remain in effect through April, 2020

Students, volunteers plant 300 trees in White Rock park

City partnership to ‘mimic the natural growth’ of Ruth Johnson Park

Surrey moves to ban sleeping overnight in RVs, motorhomes on city streets

Proposal comes amid complaints about homeless people living in recreational vehicles

Surrey restaurant owner who pointed handgun at staff loses court appeal

Jawahar Singh Padda tried to get his 30-month sentenced reduced

ELECTION 2019: It’s so close, it could come down to who turns out to vote

Black Press Media’s polling analyst on the origins of predictive seat modelling in Canada

Jack’s Devils beat Quinn’s Canucks 1-0 in NHL brother battle

New Jersey youngster scores first career goal against Vancouver

Two charged after owner’s wild ride through Kamloops in his stolen truck

Crystal Rae Dorrington, 37, and Derrick Ronald Pearson, 32, facing multiple charges

Kamloops Blazers blank Vancouver Giants

A loss on the road for G-men

Man found dead inside Richmond business, IHIT investigating

Police believe the incident was not random

Judge orders credit union’s bank records for Kelowna social worker facing theft allegations

The man is accused of negligence, breach of contract, fraud and a conspiracy with Interior Savings

Leaders pour it on with rallies, boosts for candidates as campaign reaches peak

The federal election campaign has reached a crescendo

Allegations of racism lead to ministry investigation at Vancouver private school

St. George’s School was contacted over what the school describes as ‘deeply offensive behaviour online’

Not a political question: Thunberg calls for climate action in Alberta

Edmonton police estimated the size of the crowd at about 4,000

Most Read