At about 6:00 p.m. on March 26, RCAF Cormorant helicopter rescued four individuals stranded on Lovekin Rock at Long Beach in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. Approach by boat to Lovekin was ruled too dangerous due to sea state, according to the JRCC Victoria. (Sophie L’Homme Photo)

Four stranded by surging seas on a rock off Long Beach

Rescue chopper lifts a walker and three boogie boarders to safety after two hours

Four people spent about two hours trapped by surging seas on a large rock off Long Beach yesterday before being rescued unharmed by an air force chopper.

Three boogie boarders and walker who misjudged the tides were pulled off Lovekin Rock in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, south of Tofino at about 6 p.m., March 26, by an Royal Canadian Air Force Cormorant out of Comox.

“It’s a bit of a strange case,” Maritime Forces Pacific public affairs officer Lieut. Melissa Kia told the Westerly News.

“Originally, there were three walkers that went out to Lovekin Rock during the low tide, the tide came in and they couldn’t get off the rock. Two of them decided to swim to shore and the third person ruled that it was too risky,” she said.

Approach by boat to the rock was ruled too dangerous due to the state of the sea, and Canadian Coast Guard Tofino 1 rescue boat crews advised the stranded walker to remain in place while the RCAF helicopter arrived on scene, states a release issued by Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre (JRCC) Victoria.

“This is where the case takes a bit of a twist,” said Kia. “Apparently there were three boogie boarders in the area and they were also subsequently stranded due to the degrading sea conditions; so not able to jump off [Lovekin] because the waves crashing into it were much too big.”

The stranded walker and three boogie boarders awaited the arrival of the helicopter and all four of them were hoisted off the rock.

“Everybody was fine,” Kia said.

Kia encouraged beachgoers to check the tides and know the timings, adding JRCC Victoria responds to over 3,000 cases a year.

“While Mother Nature is beautiful, it can also turn. Just be aware of your surroundings and try to be as safe as possible,” she said.

Last year, there were two fatal accidents at Long Beach. Nijin John, a 24-year-old research student at the University of Victoria, was killed in a surfing accident on Feb.10 off Lovekin Rock. During the May Long weekend, an ocean accident off Long Beach claimed the life of 52-year old Ann Wittenberg, who was in town for her daughter’s wedding.

READ: Courtenay-Alberni MP calls for lifeguards at popular surf spot near Tofino

EDITORIAL: Restore the Surf Guard program at Long Beach

READ: Ucluelet paddle boarder calls for lifeguards on Long Beach after rescue at Lovekin Rock

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Rent-It Centre takes over curbside collection contract in Tofino and Ucluelet

Rent It Centre’s bid was $25,865 lower than the only other bidder, SonBird Refuse and Recycling.

Tofino’s first cannabis dispensary opens

“I don’t know where it’s going, but happy how it’s gone so far.”

Tofino welcomes much needed veterinarian to town

West Coast has not had a full-time vet since Dr. Jane Hunt surrendered her licence in 2004.

Looking back on the West Coast’s top 10 news stories

Tofino and Ucluelet’s top headlines of 2019.

Regional district looks at plans for Alberni Valley and West Coast landfills

Current plans were created in 2012 and require updating

Kids across Canada more at risk of hospitalization from flu this season: doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam said influenza B does not usually peak until February or later

B.C. offers $5 million equipment loan program to help ailing forest contractors

Local politicians in Port McNeill and Campbell River says local economies are struggling

Vancouver Island distillery wins award for best Canadian rye whisky

Shelter Point cleans up at Canadian Whisky Awards

Kelowna hotel to award couples for baby-making with Nooner deal

The deal includes a free stay every Valentine’s Day for the next 18 years

VIDEO: Ucluelet kids relish snow day on Vancouver Island

“We only get a snow day once a year, maybe.”

Clerk bruised, traumatized after armed robbery at Nanaimo liquor store

Few details on male suspect in Wednesday incident, says Nanaimo RCMP

Crown won’t appeal sentence in child sex assault case of former Burns Lake mayor

B.C. Prosecution Service said sentence doesn’t meet standard for appeal

One last blast of winter tonight for parts of the Island before temperatures on the rise

A snowfall warning is in effect Friday including east Vancouver Island.

‘Scariest boat ride of my life’: Passengers trapped by ice on rocky B.C. ferry sailing

The Nimpkish docked in Bella Coola on Jan.12 coated in a thick layer of ice

Most Read