A Greater Victoria man was rescued from the water twice in one day.
Great work team! @SaanichFire returned again in the afternoon with @CoastGuardCAN to find the owner hypothermic in the water trying to retrieve belongings from the boat.
Quick action got him back to shore safely and with @BC_EHS to warm up and treatment.#teamwork pic.twitter.com/lh6VjxgHTP
— Dan Wood (@firechiefwood) December 28, 2019
Just after 4:30 a.m. on Dec. 27, VicPD and the Saanich Police Department joined forces to rescue a man and his dog from their sinking houseboat near the west side of the Tillicum bridge. Officers worked quickly to get them both out of the water safely and kept them warm until paramedics arrived.
The boat that the man and his dog were living on was swept away and ended up in Portage Inlet.
The man was taken to the hospital with non life-threatening injuries and his dog was brought to the Capital Regional District Animal Shelter to be kept safe.
Later in the day, after being released from the hospital, the man made his way to Portage Inlet where his boat lay on its side. He got back into the water in an attempt to find his dog and retrieve his belongings, said Deputy Fire Chief Dan Wood.
The Saanich Fire Department and the Canadian Coast Guard were called to come and check on the boat as there were reports it was leaking gasoline into the water. Wood was one of the crew members who responded and when they arrived, they were surprised to find the man was back in the cold water.
He’d been out there for about 30 minutes and had gotten too cold to swim back, Wood explained. Crews threw the man a lifejacket and used a line to tow him to shore.
Following quick action by the emergency team, the man was safely rescued for a second time that day and paramedics provided treatment for hypothermia.
The Coast Guard secured the boat and dealt with the small gasoline spill, Wood said. He also noted that temporary accommodations have been found for the man and his dog as their boat was unliveable.
Wood said that he’s never experienced two marine rescues in one day, but pointed out that multiple rescues can sometimes be required. He commended all the emergency crews for their quick work during both rescues.