WATCH: The men from Sidney were in the water for more than 30 minutes before their screams alerted residents who called for help. Monica Martinez has more.
Last Saturday evening started off normally, as two friends took their boat to the centre of Sidney not far away to grab dinner.
The weather was good, but in several hours, it changed for the worse.
“We made a bad judgement call and thought we could make it back and that’s when the engine stalled. It was a fight to survive,” said Keith Roberts, who owns the boat.
With choppy waters, waves quickly filled the boat and they capsized. There were life jackets on board, but they weren’t wearing them. Keith Roberts and his friend Ryan Northcott held on to the boat and each other.
“We kept motivating each other, yelling at each other, you know, hey we are not going to die here tonight brother, lets get to shore. We have lots more life to live,” said Roberts.
It was just after 8 p.m. It was dark out and they were about 200 to 300 metres from shore.
“I said okay Ryan, count to three, we are going to yell for help and just yelled together and kept that going,” said Roberts.
Wind carried their screams across the water and were heard by residents on Beafort Road in Sidney who called 9-1-1.
A volunteer with the marine rescue society happened to be only minutes away.
“It was pretty relieving to see the flashlights on the beach and a boat coming out of the harbour to help us,” Northcott said.
The two men were in the water for more than 30 minutes. They suffered hypothermia but they are both okay.
RCMP say the two men were very, very lucky.
“Fortunately for them, the winds were blowing in the right direction. It was early enough in the evening and people were still awake. Had this happened at three in the morning, their cries probably would have gone unheard,” said Sidney North Saanich Cst. Scott Seutter.
The boat also survived, but from now on they will be more cautious on the water.
“If you are going to boat at night, have all your lights, the flares, have all the safety gear,” Roberts said.
It was a harrowing ordeal, and they not only survived, but they’ve kept their sense of humour.
“That’s probably what kept me alive is being a little overweight, big and sexy,” said Roberts laughing.