Three boaters found safe following search near Nahmint Bay

Three boaters found safe following search near Nahmint Bay

An aerial view of Nahmint Bay and the Nahmint River, south of Port Alberni. (Google Maps).

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.”

Alexa HuffmanAlexa Huffman

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