Momentum for the rescue

Shipping News

Volunteer Graham Doan getting into a retrieval harness prior to rescue.

Volunteer Graham Doan getting into a retrieval harness prior to rescue.

You’re out on the water, enjoying a day of fishing, when without warning, one of the people in your boat go over the side.

The good news is that the person is OK and is wearing their lifejacket. The bad news, said Mike Paterson is that it’s going to be a whole lot harder to haul that person back aboard than you might think.

That message, he said, was brought home to about 100 participants at Schooner Cove on Sunday during the annual Safety Sunday event at the Fairwinds Marina.

“One of the events saw us do retrieval techniques, where one of our guys jumped into a wetsuit and floundered around and pretended to be drowning,” he said. “We threw him a line and it showed just how difficult it is to get this guy out of the water and onto the dock. It took two beefy Coast Guard guys to get him up — and that was only two feet. Without a boarding ladder, you’re almost hooped.”

The technique, he said, is to bounce the person — one, two, three — and when they are zooming back up you use that momentum.”

While participants were able to enjoy a tour of one of the local Coast Guard boats that was tied up to the wharf, it was the hands-on events that proved most popular, Paterson said. 

“They really enjoyed the hands-on things,” he said. “The flare gun firing was very popular. They got to try out their own flare guns to see what it feels like and we shot off a couple of almost military parachute flares to show the difference between that and a flare gun. It goes up almost 1,000 feet.”

Besides being entertaining, the flare check saw several units found to be out of date and subsequently replaced.

“It was a great day,” he said. “We had families with kids, seasoned boaters and novice boaters, all kinds of people.”




• Tim Rann often goes sailing on a Saturday, but when he takes his 45-foot ship, Amazing Grace out onto the water this weekend, he’ll be setting off on a whole lot more than a quick race around the rocks.

Rann will be starting a race around just one rock — the one called Vancouver Island.

This will be the first time Rann, from Nanoose Bay, will have entered the TELUS Van Isle 360 International Yacht Race, which runs from June 4 to 18. The race kicks off in Nanaimo Harbour at 10:30 a.m.

On Sunday, June 5, Oceanside residents will have a chance to get an eyeful of the ships in contention as they overnight at the French Creek Marina before sailing to Comox, Campbell River, Telegraph Cove, Port Hardy, Winter Harbour, Ucluelet, Victoria and finishing off in Nanaimo.




• The Nanaimo boat basin will be the place to be this weekend for maritime fans as the Floating Boat and Marine Trade Show kicks off.

Running from June 3 to 5, the show is in its seventh year and will include more than 3,500 feet of boats on display, along with 7,000 square feet of marine products and services.

Dock admission is $5 per day or $10 for multiple days.

For more information visit