The rescue of two young men from the waters of Boundary Bay Monday evening “serves as an important reminder to local boaters and recreational enthusiasts to be prepared for all weather conditions when heading out on the water.”
Crews were tasked with locating a vessel in distress just before 6 p.m. Jan. 20, according to officials with the Crescent Beach marine search-and-rescue station (RCM-SAR5).
Spokesman Dean Donnelly said the pair were out for approximately two hours before they ran into trouble, at which time they called a friend who was on shore, as well as the RCMP. The latter triggered the marine response.
According to Surrey RCMP, the men called 911 at 5:20 p.m. after their paddle broke and, caught in strong winds, they were unable to return to shore.
Drifting in the channel in an inflatable boat, they were located after they managed to tie their vessel to a southern channel marker buoy, “making them easier to locate,” Donnelly said.
“The two were in good spirits, despite the extended hours in the elements with wet clothing entering the first stages of hypothermia.”
Donnelly said crews on the shore and on the water worked with “hand in hand” with Surrey and White Rock RCMP to locate the vessel and carry out the rescue.
He added that boaters heading out in any weather should always be prepared, including with safety gear such as a flashlight, duct tape and a whistle. And if trouble arises, call 911 or *16 immediately.
Other safety tips Donnelly offered include: wear a life jacket, don’t overload the boat, take a boating-safety course and operate at a safe speed.