A man on a fishing vessel had to be rescued after he went overboard near Port Alberni on Saturday.
Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue Station 39 volunteer crews responded to an area of the Alberni Inlet near China Creek Regional Park at around 12:30 a.m. after receiving reports about a man who had gone overboard.
Ian Arklie, who was part of the responding crew and is a member of RCM SAR Station 39, told CHEK News when they arrived on the scene they found a broken-down fishing boat and a man hanging onto a line along the vessel’s port side.
“We were able to extract him out of the water and get him on our boat, where we did a first aid assessment and administered first aid until we transferred him over to [British Columbia Ambulance Service] here in Port Alberni,” he said.
Arklie said there were others on board the fishing vessel who had tried to rescue the man but weren’t able to. He said the man had been into the water for two hours, which worried rescuers.
“We had been advised that he had been in the water for approximately two hours, so hypothermia was a big factor for us in terms of what we were concerned about,” he said.
Although the Canadian Coast Guard did dispatch two boats from Bamfield, Arklie said RCM SAR Station 39 was called in because they’re based in Port Alberni and could get to the scene faster.
“We were much closer to the individual than what it was for the coast guard to come up from Bamfield,” he said, adding that it only took them 20 minutes to arrive on the scene.
Once onshore in Port Alberni, the man was transported to West Coast General Hospital.
Arklie said the man had been suffering from “mild hypothermia” but was otherwise uninjured.
“This was just an unfortunate incident where [the boat] had run out of power and he inadvertently went overboard,” he said.
The fishing vessel, which was broken down, was later towed by the coast guard back to Port Alberni, according to Arklie.