UPDATE: Investigation underway after water taxi crashes into buoy between Tofino and Ahousaht

“Ahousaht has always been a willing participant to save anyone who is in distress in our territory.”

Immediate and committed heroics saved the lives of five people whose vessel crashed into a buoy marker on Calmus Passage, near Vargas Island, during rough ocean conditions Saturday night.

“Ahousaht has always been a willing participant to save anyone who is in distress in our territory,” Ahousaht Chief Greg Louie told the Westerly News. “Ahousaht is always willing to go out, whether it’s a calm, nice day, it’s dark at night or it’s a rough night like Saturday…It’s innate in their system, in their blood. They just know how important it is to respond and save lives the best that they can. Sometimes it’s not as lucky as this past weekend. Ahousaht people know that if our boats were in distress in another territory, we hope that another community would respond the same way Ahousaht does.”

READ MORE: Clark awards Tofino and Ahousaht with Medals of Good Citizenship for Leviathan II response

The vessel was initially believed to have crashed into rocks but, in an email to the Westerly News on Nov. 20, the Ahousaht RCMP confirmed it was a buoy marker.

The vessel was operating as a water taxi and 12 passengers were on board when it hit the buoy, according to the RCMP.

“The vessel made contact with the buoy on the starboard side causing damage to the starboard engine. Operator of the vessel utilized the VHF radio asking for help and another vessel was able to render assistance and transported the injured passengers back to Ahousaht where the Canadian Coast Guard attended and all injured parties taken back to Tofino where they received medical treatment at the Tofino General Hospital,” the email read, adding that the Transportation Safety Board of Canada has been notified and an investigation into the incident is underway.

MARPAC spokesperson Michelle Scott told the Westerly News that the Canadian Coast Guard vessel Cape Ann arrived at the scene and assisted the responding Ahousaht mariners in the rescue.

BC Emergency Health Services spokesperson Sarah Morris told the Westerly that paramedics were called to the scene around 7:30 p.m.

“Two ambulances were dispatched; one paramedic crew attended with the Coast Guard to retrieve five individuals, while the other paramedics met the rescue team at the dock,” Morris said. “All five patients were cared for and transported to hospital with non life-threatening injuries.”



andrew.bailey@westerlynews.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

READ MORE: Four rescued after boating accident near Tofino

READ MORE: Search continues for missing Ahousaht fisherman near Tofino

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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Ucluelet receives $1M for multi-use space at Amphitrite Point

“I’m glad that we can now go public on it and I look forward to the community dialogue.”

West Coast builder earns four VIBE awards

Icon Developments owner Jamie Carson says collaboration is key.

Ucluelet dedicates off-leash dog park

“I think it’s great. Dogs need a space to run.”

Ucluelet artists launch pop-up art exhibition

Heyduck & Butler opened on July 1 and will run until August 31.

QUIZ: Put your knowledge of Canada to the test

How much do you know about our country?

Police issue warning after baby comes across suspected drugs in Kamloops park

The 11-month-old girl’s mother posted photos on social media showing a small plastic bag containing a purple substance

Collision results in train derailment just east of Golden

The derailment occurred Sunday night, according to a statement from CP

B.C. records 31 new cases, six deaths over three days due to COVID-19

There are 166 active cases in B.C., 16 people in hospital

B.C. highway widening job reduced, costs still up $61 million

Union-only project scales back work to widen Trans-Canada

Greater Victoria nanny pleads guilty to child porn, sexual interference charges

Johnathon Lee Robichaud pleaded guilty to slew of sex crimes

BC Wildfire Service to conduct night vision trials for helicopters in South Okanagan

This technology could assist with future firefighting operations

Most Read