Three boaters who did not return by nightfall on Monday were found safe in the Nahmint River.
Two men and a five-year-old boy were on a fishing trip in Nahmint Bay in a 20-foot boat when they failed to return. The group had left the China Creek Marina south of Port Alberni at around 1:30 p.m.
Family members reported them missing to police when the group was not back by dark. The Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre (JRCC) Victoria said it received the report at around 11 p.m. to help look for the boaters.
RCMP, the Bamfield Coast Guard, JRCC Victoria and a number of private vessels assisted in the search. A helicopter was also used during the search.
Jeff Olsson, maritime search co-ordinator with JRCC Victoria said after a light was seen, the ground search and rescue team from the Alberni Valley was able to travel up the Nahmint River and talk to the group at around 2:10 a.m. They discovered the group’s boat had gone up the river at a high tide but were stranded about 2.4 kilometres from the bay when the water level went down.
“They had made a fire and were in a good condition,” Olsson said.
The three boaters were able to return home on their own once the next high tide came in.
Olsson said the search is a good reminder to have a radio on a boat as the boaters only had a cellphone. However, he also said they had someone available to call for help if they didn’t come back by a certain time.
“It could have taken longer to find them and things could have been worse,” Olsson said.
“It was good they had someone expecting them by a time.”