Rescue crews tasked to the waters off of Blackie Spit Monday evening found a chilled man clinging to an overturned sailboat in Mud Bay.
The call for help came in just after 5 p.m. The RCM-SAR5 crew – the Crescent Beach-based auxiliary search-and-rescue team – was dispatched by the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre just before 6:30 p.m.
Spokesman Dean Donnelly said coxswain John Del Monte reported the man was found sitting on the hull of the overturned 15-foot craft. The vessel’s mast was buried in the mud of the sea bottom.
“The man had capsized his vessel sailing on two occasions and couldn’t get the vessel righted the second time after a lengthy attempt,” Donnelly told Peace Arch News by email. “Cold water and hypothermia had become a factor in his ability to deal with his situation.”
The Coast Guard hovercraft was also dispatched to the scene, due to the low water level.
The man, believed to be in his forties, was transferred to the RCM-SAR5 vessel, treated for mild hypothermia, and taken to Crescent Marina where he was assessed by paramedics and released.
Andrew Newman, with White Rock Sea Tours, towed the capsized sailboat in.
Newman said the sailor “reported that the wind was stronger than he expected,” and that he “had gotten very cold and tired attempting to fight the wind and current.”
“The male stated he had thought about swimming for shore but wasn’t sure he would make it. He commented that he could not believe how cold the water was,” Newman said by email.
JRCC marine co-ordinator John Rose said the distress call was among about 29 fielded that day.