Sailboat washes ashore at French Creek

Onshore wind drags anchor, leaving sailboat cropped on the beach

Boaters battle in vain to drag their sailboat off the beach at French Creek.

Boaters battle in vain to drag their sailboat off the beach at French Creek.

• The beach next to the French Creek Marina got an unwelcome and unexpected visitor on Sunday when a sailboat dragged its anchor and washed ashore.

Richard Sillery said the boat, with three people aboard, showed up Saturday and anchored in the bay. However, a stiff onshore wind on Sunday caused the boat to go aground.

“They were trying to haul it offshore in a 20-knot wind,” Sillery said.

The boat, which has reportedly damaged its keel, remains on the beach and is washing higher up the beach with every tide.


• A sick sailor was hoisted to safety from a 180-foot commercial fishing vessel by an RCAF Search and Rescue crew from 442 Squadron, 190 kilometres off Cape Scott, in the early morning hours of Sept. 11.

The Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Victoria received the call for help and requested a Cormorant helicopter to respond.

The helicopter arrived over the vessel at approximately 2:45 a.m., while a Buffalo Search and Rescue airplane circled overhead dropping illumination parachute flares to aid in the hoist operation.

Two search and rescue technicians were lowered onto the deck with a rescue basket where they met the patient who was already dressed in survival gear, prepared to be evacuated.

“Getting on board was a bit tricky, as we had to deal with a boat that was rising and falling in five to 10 foot swells,” said Sgt. Shawn Harrison.

Once on board, the patient was taken to Comox and from there to hospital.