A mayday call went out Tuesday as a boat caught fire in the Sabine Channel. Both occupants of the boat were rescued.

A mayday call went out Tuesday as a boat caught fire in the Sabine Channel. Both occupants of the boat were rescued.

Boat fire in Sabine Channel near Texada Island

Occupants escape on life raft

  • May. 3, 2016 6:00 a.m.

Terry Farrell

Black Press

A mayday distress signal was sent out Tuesday afternoon, as a boat went up in flames in the Sabine Channel.

Tim McGrady was on the water when the call came out, and got to the scene as soon as he could.

“We were just out putting hours on our new boat and we were on our way back from Powell River, halfway to Cape Lazo when we heard the mayday, so we rocketed down there.”

He said by the time he got there, the occupants of the craft had already been rescued.

“There (were) two people on board … they evacuated on a life raft… and were picked up by another boat.”

French Creek and Powell River Coast Guard stations were among the responding units.

Brandon Austin, Maritime search and rescue co-ordinator with the Canadian Coast Guard Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre, confirmed both occupants were rescued and taken to Comox, where they were met by the ambulance service.

McGrady said it was hard to determine what type of boat it was.

“We were trying to determine that… we thought maybe it was a prawner or something, because they are all leaving the marina, getting ready, and it looked like a two-gear rack system on the back, like a prawner has, but the bow looked almost like a pleasure craft. It was so hard to tell.”

“It was an older 38-foot vessel … an old Fraser River fish boat … a fishing vessel,” said Austin. ‘We don’t know yet where it came from, we are still working on getting all the information.”

The Sabine Channel runs between Texada and Lasqueti islands.