CONTRIBUTION · 11th August 2012
On July 28, 2012 a 40 foot fishing vessel was blown ashore by high winds and beached on the spit at Kemano Bay. The Vessel was taking part in First nations food fishery. The wooden vessel may have sustained some structural damage and presented a possible pollution risk to the area. In addition the 3 Persons on board were stranded.
Marine Rescue was able to re-float the vessel and loan a salvage pump to enable the vessel to return to Kitimat . The incident duration was over 8 hours.
Last Sunday night, Aug.5 a 28 foot pleasure craft lost power and drifted up onto the rocks at the barge ramp at RTA Terminal B. Vessel was balancing on a steep angle as the tide receded. Two elderly gentlemen were able to somehow scale the fence and make it to the haul road where they were picked up by Alcan security. They contacted the RCMP looking for someone to assist them in salvaging their vessel.
Between 01:00 and 04:00 monday Marine Rescue was able to secure the vessel and remove it from the rocks with the rising tide. If the vessel had rolled or broken up it could have posed a significant pollution realease .
In one of these cases the vessel had no working marine radio , and the persons on board did not know who to contact for assistance .
A properly maintained VHF radio on board your vessel may be your only lifeline when accidents happen. The Douglas Channel area with its steep fiords and remote areas can be a challenge for radio reception but in most areas any call for assistance on channel 16 will be responded to by Prince Rupert Coast Guard Radio and passed on to Rescue Center in Victoria.
Rescue Center is also available by telephone at 1-800-567-5111. The number will be found in the telephone book alongside fire and police numbers . Rescue Center will then alert RCM SAR unit 63 Kitimat . Kitimat Marine Rescue.
Mariners in this area should be self sufficient and prepared as much as possible. Make sure you have a back up engine and a VHF radio . Always advise someone on shore where you are going and when you will return .
Searching for an overdue vessel when all you have is “ down the channel “can be time wasted and time can make the difference between life and death.