Coast Guard sent in a ship and armed fisheries officers to rescue the family
A dramatic rescue for a family visiting Discovery Island, off the Oak Bay shore, this weekend
They called the Coast Guard for help when they found themselves threatened by the island’s resident wolf.
But as Mary Griffin reports, there’s more to the story.
This is the wolf that calls Discovery Island home.
Just ten minutes from shore, it’s a popular destination as well for locals and tourists.
On Saturday afternoon, a distress call in to the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre, taken by Dylan Carter.
“We deal with bears and things like that from time to time, and people stranded with bears in the area.
But this is the wolf call I’ve ever had.”
A family of four hiking on the island are trapped at the lighthouse.
They can’t get off the foghorn building.
And call for help on their marine radio.
“They were stalked by a wolf and had made their way to the lighthouse, and climbed on top of the foghorn building of the lighthouse to escape it.”
The Coast Guard’s M. Charles M.B. vessel is a short distance away, with two armed fisheries officers aboard.
“They hiked ashore and helped them down off the roof of this old lighthouse building, and helped them under armed escort down to the Coast Guard zodiac which took them back to their campsite.”
Ian Cesarec patrols the waters in and around the Chatham Islands, property belonging to the Songhees First Nation.
“Access to any of the Songhees territorial lands are 100 percent no go.”
That includes half of Discovery Island, including the lighthouse property.
“If, in fact, these people did have a dog with them, they would have attracted that wolf.
And possibly that would have been the curiosity factor around the wolf.”
The wolf appeared on the island at same time as the death of Songhees Chief Robert Sam four years ago.
And Discovery Island is off limits to the public where the family was rescued.
“It doesn’t matter if they have a dog or anything with them.
No trespassing means no trespassing.
And people should be aware of their environment.”
Despite the signs, and warnings, many people continue to travel to all areas of the island.