VANCOUVER – Five children and two adults are recovering today after a late-night rescue.
Just after 8 p.m. Monday night a 30-foot fishing vessel with the seven people on board overturned two miles off Galiano Island, close to Valdes Island.
“The people aboard had a handheld radio, that’s why this story is ending so well,” said acting Acting Sub-Lt. Ron MacDougall from Canadian Forces Base Comox.
A hovercraft, two BC Ferries, the Canadian Coast Guard, and auxiliary vessels all responded. The first to get there was hovercraft from Sea Island in Richmond and all seven were pulled to safety.
Acting Captain Tom Moxey with Canadian Coast Guard says the family departed from Delta and was headed for Kelsey Bay to relocate their home.
They had all of their home belongings on board.
Moxey says when the coast guard arrived, the family was scattered around in the water, hanging on to whatever they could grab.
The boat was almost fully submerged.
The occupants were in the water for about 45 minutes to an hour and suffered mild to moderate hypothermia.
“If this was winter time, it would have been different,” says Moxey.
Shortly after that the Fast Rescue Craft from the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue Station 29 was on scene, the Coast Guard Lifeboat Cape Naden arrived. Both vessels searched for the overturned boat and any pollution in the water. The semi-submerged vessel was found and the RCMSAR 29 crew towed it to a safe harbour while the Cape Naden worked to recover floating debris.
It’s still unclear how the incident happened.