Members of the Suquamish Nation, from Suquamish, Wash. paddle to Nanoose First Nation on Monday. (NICHOLAS PESCOD/NEWS BULLETIN).

Ocean rescue needed as Tribal Journeys paddles onward

Rough waters stall canoes at Neck Point in Nanaimo

It took a little longer than expected, but the Tribal Journeys canoes made it to the shores at Nanoose Bay on Monday afternoon.

Only a handful of canoes were able to successfully paddle into the Snaw-Naw-As First Nation community due to high winds and rough seas.

The paddlers are part of the annual Tribal Journeys, which sees more than 90 canoes carrying thousands of First Nations people travel along Vancouver Island, making stops at various First Nations communities. This year’s hosts are the We Wai Kai and Wei Wai Kum Nations, located in the Campbell River region.

Marilyn Wandery, captain for the Suquamish Nation, who were the first to make it to Nanoose First Nation, said it felt good to be on shore, adding that the waters were challenging for her crew.

“It was very strong. We were far enough out that the coast guard didn’t turn us back,” she said. “We got to keep coming but all the the other canoes, they made them stop and go to shore.”

The Suquamish Nation began its journey in Suquamish, Wash., near Seattle, on July 21 and were in Nanaimo on Sunday. Wandery said the journey from Nanaimo to Nanoose was difficult, but thrilling.

“We were bouncing over those waves and I was steering and our rudder broke, but I’ll tell you what, it was exciting,” she said.

Although some canoes made it to Nanoose, others were not so lucky. Jerry Berry, coxswain with Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue, said the conditions on the water were rough with 25-knot winds and waves as high as five feet.

“The vast majority of [canoes] got stopped at Neck Point, but those that did proceed north of Neck Point had difficulties.”

Berry said two canoes filled up with so much water that the occupants had to be rescued by his team, the Nanaimo Port Authority and the RCMP.

“In one case there were five persons in the water and in the other case there were three persons in the water and they were rescued pretty quickly by the parties on scene,” Berry said.

He also said there was an escort vessel with the canoes that began taking on water as well.

“There were 13 people aboard,” he said. “They were taken into Nanoose and the boat was assisted by the volunteer search and rescue boat and they pumped the water out of the boat.”

Berry said none of those who had to be recused sustained any injuries.

“Fortunately the response was excellent and the water was warm that day,” he said.

reporter2@nanaimobulletin.com

Just Posted

Kwalikum Secondary student back from year in Netherlands

Don’t pass up opportunity to travel with Qualicum Beach Rotary’s help, says Taylor Hunter

Resident slam loud dynamite blasting at Cedar Ridge Estate development

Sleigh feels insulted by Mayor Lefebrve who failed to understand their suffering

RDN creates new service to fund INfilm

Regional district to enter three year agreement with film commision for annual funding of $50,000

Bowser school asks RDN to double funding for outdoor learning area

From $30,000 to $60,000 for Tulnuxw Lelum Cultural Learning Space

Collison slows traffic on Highway 19 in Parksville

Pickup collides with median divider in heavy rain

VIDEO: Parksville home to new film studio

Film studio just off Highway 4A

Police officer hit by car, stabbed in Edmonton attack back on job

Const. Mike Chernyk, 48, returned to work Thursday

UBC medical students learn to care for Indigenous people

Students in health-related studies to take course, workshop to help better serve Aboriginal people

Dorsett has 2 goals, assist in Canucks’ 4-2 win over Sabres

‘It was a real good hockey game by our group,’ Canucks coach Travis Green said.

Berry disappointed: Bear tries to eat fake fruit on woman’s door wreath

A Winnipeg woman has taken her berry-embellished wreath down, after a hungry bear visited her porch

Man in custody linked police search near Salmon Arm

Police have not connected arrest to search at Salmon River Road property

Rogue masseur arrested for sexual assault in Victoria

John Heintzelman, 65, is accused of assaulting a person at his former business, James Bay Massage

Summit will look at Vancouver Island’s economic interests

The Vancouver Island Economic Summit happens Oct. 25-26

Hey Amazon, the bid’s in the mail: Langford mayor

The City of Langford has officially submitted its bid to become the home of Amazon HQ2.

Most Read