A waterspout was seen between French Creek and Lasqueti Island on Thursday morning as thunderstorms passed over the area.

A waterspout watch was issued for the Strait of Georgia north and south of Nanaimo at 9:40 a.m. According to Environment Canada, there were eyewitness reports of waterspout activity in the area and conditions were favourable for waterspout development over the Strait of Georgia near Lasqueti and Texada Islands along with some thunderstorms. The watch has now ended.

Waterspouts are generated by weak rotation under rapidly growing clouds or weak thunderstorms. Under favourable conditions, this weak rotation could intensify and become a tornado.

Environment Canada says waterspouts are generally isolated in nature generally isolated in nature although they can also occur in families of two or more.

Shaun Radke, a skiff man on the Western Voyager, saw the waterspout at around 9:30 a.m. while his group was leaving French Creek heading to fish near Namu for one to two months. He said they heard on the radio there was a waterspout between French Creek and Lasqueti Island.

“Because we were heading north, it was behind us and we didn’t notice it right away,” Radke said.

Radke said he has seen smaller waterspouts in the past but this was the largest he had seen. He estimates their boat was about eight kilometres away and it lasted approximately 10 minutes.

“I was blown away on how big they can get and how beautiful they are,” Radke said.

He’s calling the waterspout good luck as it’s rare for him to see one.

“I’d say it’s a good way to start off,” Radke said.

A waterspout between French Creek and Lasqueti Island. Courtesy of Shaun Radke.

A waterspout between French Creek and Lasqueti Island. Courtesy of Shaun Radke.

A waterspout between French Creek and Lasqueti Island. Courtesy of Shaun Radke.

A waterspout between French Creek and Lasqueti Island. Courtesy of Shaun Radke.

A waterspout between French Creek and Lasqueti Island. Courtesy of Shaun Radke.

A waterspout was seen by Bill Vinton at Jenkins Island off the coast of Lasqueti Island at 9:20 a.m. Courtesy of Bill Vinton. 

A waterspout was seen by Bill Vinton at Jenkins Island off the coast of Lasqueti Island at 9:20 a.m. Courtesy of Bill Vinton. 

A waterspout was seen by Bill Vinton at Jenkins Island off the coast of Lasqueti Island at 9:20 a.m. Courtesy of Bill Vinton. 

A waterspout was seen looking toward Lasqueti Island by Qualicum Beach. Courtesy of Jamie Stevens.

Alexa Huffman