A B.C. Ferries sailing out of Duke Point was delayed 32 minutes Wednesday when the ship's crew launched a rescue boat to help a kayaker in trouble near Gabriola Island.

A B.C. Ferries sailing out of Duke Point was delayed 32 minutes Wednesday when the ship's crew launched a rescue boat to help a kayaker in trouble near Gabriola Island.

Kayaker plucked from water off Gabriola Island near Nanaimo

NANAIMO - B.C. Ferries, Nanaimo marine search and rescue retrieve kayaker in trouble.

A B.C. ferry sailing out of Duke Point, south of Nanaimo, was delayed by about 30 minutes Wednesday to help out with a marine rescue.

The ferry sent out a rescue boat while Nanaimo Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue responded at about 8 p.m. when a witness on Gabriola Island, near Malaspina Point, saw a kayaker in trouble.

“We did a broadcast for assistance and a couple of tugs and the B.C. ferry at Duke Point … sent their rubber boat out and we tasked out the RCM SAR volunteers out of Nanaimo who were first on scene,” said Jeff Olsson, marine search and rescue coordinator.

Olsson said the victim’s kayak had been capsized by a wave.

The kayaker was pulled out of the water at about 8:30 p.m. by search and rescue volunteers.

“He was pretty tired and cold, so they handed him over to B.C. Ambulance in Nanaimo,” Olsson said. “I spoke to his partner there today (May 26) and he was recovering.”

The ferry involved in the rescue was the M.V. Coastal Renaissance, currently operating on the Duke Point to Tsawwassen route, Deborah Marshall, B.C. Ferries spokeswoman said in an e-mail to the News Bulletin.

“We participate in approximately 24 rescues per year on average,” she said. “Just this past Sunday, the crew on the M.V. Quinitsa rescued two people from a vessel that was sinking between Denman and Hornby islands.”

Nanaimo News Bulletin