A 14-metre fishing vessel caught fire about a kilometre off Meares Island on Sept. 23.
The Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Victoria received a report around 9 p.m. alerting them that the vessel was adrift and engulfed in flames.
Cpl. Aubrey Hachey of the JRCC told the Westerly News that Canadian Coast Guard vessel the Cape Ann was dispatched to the scene but, by the time it arrived, the one man onboard the engulfed vessel had already been rescued by a civilian vessel of opportunity.
Hachey said the man suffered some smoke inhalation but was otherwise unharmed.
“The Cape Ann attended afterwards but the vessel was fully engulfed so they basically just warned people to stay clear,” he said. “Environmental response was advised and we handed it off to them.”
In an email to the Westerly News, a B.C. Ministry of Environment spokesperson said the vessel reportedly contained about 1,324 litres of diesel fuel, 56 litres of motor oil, 113 litres of hydraulic oil and two 13-kilogram propane tanks.
“The Canadian Coast Guard Environmental Response is the lead, and will continue to monitor the incident and provide updates as necessary,” the spokesperson said. “The MOE Environmental Emergency Response Officer has notified the First Nations Health Authority and Vancouver Island Health Authority.”