Rescuers assist boaters in distress off Rocky Point in Nanaimo on Friday, April 23. (Photo courtesy Ricarda Brusegard)

Rescuers assist boaters in distress off Rocky Point in Nanaimo on Friday, April 23. (Photo courtesy Ricarda Brusegard)

Rescuers come to the aid of boaters in distress in the strait off Nanaimo

RCMP, Port of Nanaimo, coast guard, research vessel respond to mayday call

Two people were retrieved from a pleasure craft after an emergency in the waters off of Nanaimo this morning.

Emergency services, including the RCMP patrol boat MV Higget, Nanaimo Port Authority patrol vessel MV Osprey, a Fisheries and Oceans research boat and the Canadian Coast Guard Marine Search and Rescue from French Creek responded to come to the aid of a 34-foot cabin cruiser following a mayday call shortly after 9:30 a.m. Friday, April 23.

“We were just to assist out by Neck Point this morning … a vessel in distress, two people in distress, related to something happening onboard,” said Ian Marr, Port of Nanaimo president and CEO.

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Marr said the two patients were being brought in to Brechin Boat Ramp where they would be transferred to B.C. Emergency Health Services paramedics.

Marr did not know what the nature of the emergency was other than the two people aboard the craft were in distress. Separate witnesses had both heard reports of a gas leak.

Their craft was towed to Nanaimo by the MV Osprey, assisted by the Canadian Coast Guard. A Canadian Coast Guard Cormorant helicopter also circled the scene for several minutes before it returned to base.

“We currently have it under tow and working their way back to Brechin Boat Ramp. I believe they should already be there and, hopefully, the people are on their way to facilities for help,” Marr said.

This story will be updated as information becomes available.

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RCMP, Nanaimo Port Authority, Canadian Coast Guard and a Fisheries and Oceans Canada research vessel rushed to a pleasure craft in the Salish Sea off Neck Point in Nanaimo where they retrieved two people in distress Friday morning, April 23. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)

RCMP, Nanaimo Port Authority, Canadian Coast Guard and a Fisheries and Oceans Canada research vessel rushed to a pleasure craft in the Salish Sea off Neck Point in Nanaimo where they retrieved two people in distress Friday morning, April 23. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)