Two people had to be rescued from waters off West Vancouver on Saturday (July 24) afternoon after the vessel they were in capsized.
The man and woman had launched their boat from Kitsilano and had travelled to waters near Navvy Jack Point Park, when their boat ran into trouble.
Bruce Chan, who is a volunteer coxswain with Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue North Vancouver, said the crew received a mayday call from a pleasure craft that they had seen a boat that had sunk at 4:37 p.m., and two people were stranded in the water.
Chan said the crew was near Lions Gate Bridge and was able to get to the scene within 10 minutes. When they arrived, they found the vessel upside down and a man in the water.
He said the woman had been picked up by another recreational boater prior to them arriving.
“The person, obviously, ran into some difficulty which caused water to ingress, but I don't think they even knew what had happened,” Chan said.
Chan speculated that the boat’s drain plug may have failed, causing the boat to take on water.
“Enough so that it became unstable and eventually turned upside down,” he said.
He said both boaters were wearing life jackets and were happy to be rescued. Luckily, neither were injured nor hypothermic, but Chan said the man noted he was getting cold in the water even just after 10 to 15 minutes.
He said the boat was safely extracted from the water by the Coast Guard and taken to John Lawson Pier. The couple were transported back to their vehicle in Kitsilano.
The Vancouver Police Department Marine Unit also stopped by, but the rescue had been completed.
Chan said the couple on the boat weren’t the only ones to run into trouble on Saturday. A strong current caused distress for sailors.
“It was just a typical day where a couple of boats from the Jericho Sailing Centre, little sailing vessels, had gotten a little too far into the inlet and the current was very, very strong,” he said. “So, they got dragged under Lions Gate Bridge, so we had to go help a couple of them, as they were drifting into the inner harbour and help drag them back out.”
He said, in this instance, everyone was OK, but it was a reminder to those on the water that there is strong current, “even on nice days.”
“It’s the usual stuff that happens,” he said. “People don't always realize there's a big strong current out there and they get dragged under the bridge, and then they're pretty panicked because they're getting pushed into the wharves on the other side or the beach.”