Local Canadian Coast Guard personnel were involved in a fiery rescue near Ucluelet Thursday night.
The Sherry C, a roughly 12-metre fishing vessel, was towing a disabled vessel about 13 nautical miles off Ucluelet’s coast when a fire broke out onboard, according to Captain David Bowes of Victoria’s Joint Rescue Coordination Centre.
Bowes told the Westerly News the JRCC received a mayday call around 9:30 p.m. on Aug. 25 and dispatched Tofino and Bamfield Coast Guard vessels to the scene. Canadian military vessel HMCS Ottawa was in the area conducting training exercises and also attended.
“The two people onboard the burning vessel were rescued and brought to Ucluelet with no injuries,” Bowes said.
The disabled vessel the Sherry C had been towing was brought to shore but the Sherry C remained in the ocean after its flames were deemed extinguished. She caught fire again the next day and was spotted by several mariners.
Warren Wartigg was fishing off Long Beach near Tofino on Aug. 26 with Gordie Parkes of Anglers Edge Charters as part of a fishing charter donated as a silent auction item to support the Central Westcoast Forest Society and said he and other fishers noticed smoke.
“We pulled up our lines and went out to see if we could render assistance but later found out the rescue had occurred the night before and that the boat had reignited,” Wartigg told the Westerly News in an email.
“The Coast Guard still came out to ensure it wasn’t a different boat. I was impressed with the concern and quick reporting by several of the charter boats that saw the smoke. I would like to thank Gordie for taking the initiative to interrupt our charter for a potential rescue.”
The Sherry C is registered in Port Alberni.