Three people had to be rescued on Friday night after the 38-foot boat they were in ran aground near Billings Spit in Sooke Harbour. (Facebook/Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue #37 Sooke)

Three people rescued after boat runs aground near Sooke harbour

Sailors misjudged height of sandbar, says search and rescue

  • Nov. 9, 2020 12:00 a.m.

Three people were rescued after their boat got too close to the shore near Sooke harbour.

Search and rescue crews responded to a call for help after a 38-foot sailing vessel ran aground at Billings Spit while leaving the harbour just after 7 p.m. on Friday (Nov. 6).

“They had misjudged the height of the sandbar near the spit, which is pretty easy to do because it’s such a narrow channel,” said Ceara Mullin, station leader of Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue Station 37. “When we arrived, they still had power, life jackets and a heater.”

A resident from a nearby boat kept a close watch on the vessel while search and rescue crews headed to the scene, Mullin said.

Due to the combination of low tide and the deep-keeled boat, crews determined a tow wasn’t possible. They dropped anchor and returned the next morning to re-float the vessel. The small group was taken off the water around 8:30 p.m. and were dropped off at the marina just after 9 p.m.

There were no injuries reported, and the boat was re-floated Saturday afternoon.

Four SAR members attended the incident, including a new member attending his first emergency scene.

“It’s great practice, and luckily he was able to get a hands-on experience that wasn’t too intense,” Mullin said.

READ MORE: Search and rescue crews safely locate 19-year-old missing hiker in Sooke Potholes

ALSO READ: Search and rescue crews extricate man who fell down deep crevasse on Vancouver Island


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Sooke News Mirror