Two people had to be rescued after their small boat sank in the Alberni Inlet, just off of Canal Waterfront Park, on Saturday, Nov. 5.
Port Alberni RCMP received a call just after 12:30 p.m. that a boat was sinking. Bystanders at Canal Beach watched as the boat took on water and quickly sank, leaving the two occupants in the rough waters.
Officers boarded the detachment’s rigid hull inflatable boat, docked at a marina on Harbour Road, and were in contact with the pair 20 minutes after the first call was made, RCMP media liaison officer Const. Richard Johns said. When officers arrived they found the occupants on a log boom approximately 30 metres from shore, attempting to stay out of the water.
Incidents such as these are a stark reminder to ensure that everyone on board is wearing a personal flotation device (PFD), Johns added, and that all vessels are fully stocked with all of the required safety equipment. “Wearing a life jacket or PFD is the best defense for surviving cold-water shock and hypothermia.”
The detachment has recently moved their patrol vessel to the Harbour Road marina in order to decrease response times to issues such as these, Johns added.
The owner of the vessel was seen at Canal Beach on Sunday, Nov. 6 attempting to recover his vessel. The Canadian Coast Guard is reportedly working with the boat’s owner to assist in the vessel’s recovery.