Family seeks SAR help searching for former Uclueletian boater

 

 

A former Ucluelet resident is holding out hope for her father and asking for search-and-rescue volunteers on the north end of Vancouver Island after his capsized boat was found adrift off the Washington coast.

Paul Clark’s overturned row/sail boat, the Adriana, was found on July 31 by the fishing vessel Tally Ho, 750 miles from Paul’s last point of contact at Aristazabal Island.   

On righting the vessel, the US Coast Guard reported “all oars and sails secured” with no apparent damage, said Clark’s daughter Marian, who flew back to BC from her home in London, England to help coordinate search efforts.

Paul Clark’s GPS is indicating a possible capsize outside of Quatsino Sound on the north end of Vancouver Island, about 20 knots offshore.

On his dream trip from Prince Rupert to Victoria, he was last seen in Borrowman Bay, he left there with the tides at 2:30 a.m.  His GPS tells some of the details.

“It looks like leaving Borrowman Bay he was swept out into Queen Charlotte Sound. From there, he tried to navigate back. He made it around the Triangle Group of Islands off the northern end of Vancouver Island,” Marian said.

“It looks like maybe the sea anchor could have broken and possibly a rogue wave got him July 13 at 6 a.m. in the morning,” she said.

Marian has raised funds to continue the search for her missing father, and she’s hoping for some search-and-rescue volunteers to help keep the search up.

“The Coast Guard can only do so much, and we understand. Since there is a chance of survival, we’re continuing to hope,” she said.

“We know how clever my dad was, he was a really extraordinary mariner,” she said, citing his trip down the St. Lawrence at age 16 and a lifetime spent on the ocean.

“If anybody could do it, he could. He’s not just any typical character here, he’s the last of the great adventurers,” she said.

 â€œAs most of his equipment has been accounted for except for his dry suit and some food bags that are missing, we are hoping that he launched out and was possibly able to make it to shore,” Marian said.

The Canadian Coast Guard gave the 69-year-old 24-36 hours to get to shore in his dry suit, she said.

“We hope that he is somewhere on the northwest coast of Vancouver Island, a vast and wild area,” she said.

An alert has been issued to local fisherman, loggers and RCMP detachments.

A veteran sailor, Paul Clark lived in Ucluelet with his family in the 1980s and 1990s, when he was fishing commercially up and down the BC coast.

He was the first person to kayak around Vancouver Island in 1971, and he held a record for the longest at sea from Panama to Victoria on a solo trip in the early 1970s.

The Adriana was a project 10 years in the planning. Paul built the 16-footer himself, and he sailed it up and down Vancouver Island for three years before embarking on the big trip from Prince Rupert to Victoria, Marian said.

For information on how to help, contact Marian Clark at  marianmaeclark@gmail.com.

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