BC Ferries makes stop to help stranded boaters

This was one of five marine incidents they responded to between July 14-16.

A BC Ferries vessel rescued seven people near Gabriola Island Friday afternoon after their boat ran aground.

The Queen of Nanaimo made the unscheduled stop between while responding to a distress call at around 4:30 p.m. Two crew members from the ferry were lowered down into a rescue boat and then made their way to the stranded boaters. All seven passengers were transported aboard and Canada Customs took over from there.

“We can respond to an incident in as little as five minutes,” says Darren Johnston, BC Ferries’ Director of Fleet Operations. “We pride ourselves on a quick response time, because of the risk of hypothermia in the cold waters of British Columbia.”

BC Ferries’ vessels respond to roughly 125 marine emergencies each year. These can range from providing visual confirmation of a situation, to recovering people from the water and applying advanced first aid treatment.

No one was injured in the rescue and the Queen of Nanaimo continued its voyage, but was running about 83 minutes behind schedule.

This was one of five marine incidents that BC Ferries’ crew responded to between July 14-16.

  • The Coastal Renaissance spotted an unoccupied zodiac near Snake Island off the Nanaimo Harbour area and investigated to ensure there was nothing wrong.
  • Crews from the MV Kuper and Howe Sound Queen responded to a Mayday call from a boat in distress near Tent Island, and towed the boat to a safe position.
  • The MV Kahloke launched its rescue boat to assist a pleasure craft unable to move, and remained in the area until Canadian Coast Guard arrived.
  • The Queen of Nanaimo also did double duty, launching its rescue boat for a second time while alongside Tsawwassen terminal to retrieve two canoeists from the water to take them ashore for further care.