An Interesting Day on the Water

tahsis

Our next leg of our journey was from Tahsis (known for the Captain Ron docking maneuver) to Hot Springs Cove. It was a dreary day, and the winds were on our nose from the south, so we motored most of the way. It got interesting when we heard a frantic MAN OVERBOARD on the radio. We could only catch part of the conversation from the boat in question, but we could hear most of the Coast Guard response. The person on board was either a blithering idiot when it came to boating; in a state of total panic, or both. The lady on the Coast Guard side was a true professional. She tried to get the man on board to give her his position. He didn’t know what she was talking about. She tried to direct him to the chart plotter that she knew would be on board and get him to read the numbers that started with 49 something something, or 126 something, something. The numbers would probably be in the upper right hand corner of the thing that looks like a small TV or computer screen. It was painful to listen to. I’m not sure how the Coast Guard finally got something approaching a position, but they managed to get a couple of vessels in the vicinity to head on over. I listened to the position a couple of times before I managed to write it down. This was all happening well offshore, more than 20 miles away from us. We were at least three hours away. Meanwhile, we were experiencing 15-20 knot winds and 1-2 meter seas. Offshore, it would certainly have been worse. She asked him if the man overboard was still in sight – he said no. She asked what he was wearing – nothing, he said. Nothing? Did he take his clothes off? It wasn’t making a whole of sense. She was trying to get him to drive the boat slowly into the wind and waves so he wouldn’t drift too far away. After an hour or more of this, the man on board said he was going to go back to the fishing lodge. The Coast Guard lady laid the law down and said that unless he was in immediate danger himself, he was obliged to stay in the vicinity. I don’t know if he stayed or not. We lost radio contact. But by then, the guy had been in the water for at least two hours, and we assumed he would be dead by now. A few hours later we heard the Coast Guard say that a recovery (not rescue) had been made.

But Wait! There’s more! Here’s the story from the CBC.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/rescue-of-vancouver-island-fishing-guide-absolute-miracle-1.3679492

We learned the next day that the guy had indeed survived. Some stories do have a happy ending.

We made it to Hot Springs Cove and had a great dip the next morning.

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