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Marine search and rescue stands by to aid boater on rocks

A pleasure boat sustained damage after resting on rocks in Sooke Bay. - Ken Davies
A pleasure boat sustained damage after resting on rocks in Sooke Bay.
— image credit: Ken Davies

Anchoring offshore in an area of heavy winds may not be the safest thing to do. One boater owner found out the hard way that the winds off the Strait of Juan de Fuca are strong willed and rather brisk.

On Wednesday evening, July 29,  the owner of a pleasure craft attempted to move his boat when it started dragging anchor in the area of Sooke Bay.

According to Jason van der Valk, Operations Assistant and Coxswain, of the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue, Station 37 Sooke, they were the first people to come out to assist.

“It got convoluted,” said Van Der Valk. “The owner got onto the vessel and he couldn’t start it or get it off the rocks.”

Search and Rescue deemed it unsafe and stood by while a commercial assist (C-Tow) was contacted. It was an ebb tide and the water was dropping, hampered as well by heavy fog. They too saw it as unsafe but they put in a de-watering pump and were there until 1:30 a.m., said Van Der Valk. The way the boat was sitting on the rocks meant that trying to move it might result in more damage to the bottom.

“We did stand by and ensure no one was hurt,” said Van Der Valk.

Once the tide came back up, the boat was hauled to Park Isle Marine.

“There are quite a few holes on the bottom,” said Van Der Valk.

The Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue is a volunteer-based operation  on call to help in marine-related situations. They are there 24/7, 365 days of the year. They are always looking for new volunteer members who might want to join them.

The Sooke Coast Guard Auxiliary will provide all the skills and training you need to effectively become a crew member and to be a part of this team. Go to: www.ccga37.org/become-a-member.php

 

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