RCMP officers with ShipRider program rescue 2 people from sinking boat

RCMP officers with ShipRider program rescue 2 people from sinking boat
The 40-foot boat that sank in the Strait of Georgia on Aug. 17, 2020.

Two people were rescued by RCMP officers on Monday after their ship started sinking near Saturna Island.

On Aug. 17 just after 10 a.m., RCMP officers with the ShipRider program were patrolling along the US/ Canada marine border in the Strait of Georgia.

The officers then overheard a distress call on the marine channel indicating that a vessel was sinking and two people on board were being forced to abandon ship.

The RCMP vessel got to the area minutes later and located the ship almost fully submerged with the life raft still attached to the transom of the sinking boat.

Two people wearing lifejackets were in the water holding onto a few floating items prior to rescue, police said. Neither person on board was injured.

The actions taken by the members of the Pacific ShipRider program were outstanding. They answered a call for help immediately and were on the scene within minutes Supt. Bert Ferreira, the officer in charge of the Border Integrity Program, said in a statement.

This is another great example of the scope and breadth of RCMP operations in B.C..

An investigation determined that the boat had struck something as it traversed through Boat Pass, between Saturna Island and Samuel Island in the Strait of Georgia. The boat immediately began taking on water.

Police said the captain anchored the sinking ship and attempted to use the life raft, but due to the boat sinking so quickly the system to release it did not function. The 34-foot (10-metre) boat sank in approximately 40 feet (12 metres) of water and will be recovered in the future.

During the COVID-19 crisis, the border is closed to all nonessential cross-border traffic, and ShipRider enforces the Customs Act and Quarantine Act when applicable. The police officers are also available for emergency assistance.


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