During Friday’s storm

During Friday’s storm

Weathering the big storm

Local coast guard kept busy by may day calls and washed up boats

Friday’s stormy weather left thousands of homes without power, grounded planes and cancelled ferries.

Here in Ladysmith, the local Auxiliary Coast Guard Station 29 was called out to a number of incidences during Friday’s inclement weather.

The following is a first hand account from member Nick Epp-Evans.

Within an hour of our crews returning from the Remembrance Day parade, heavy winds hit our coastline.  Ladysmith Coast Guard Auxiliary were paged almost immediately, the radio was busy with calls up and down the coast, from emergency may day calls to drifting boat sheds.

While traveling to our first tasking of a vessel adrift off Saltair, three other calls came in to our vessel.

Assistance was given to a boat that drifted on shore at Slack Point. A sailboat was washed ashore near Chemainus boat ramp. Another vessel was broken from its mooring and washed against the rocks at Bear Point.

As our tired crew returned to base they inspected and reported a broken free boat house, then at the call of the Oak Bay Marina manager, towed another broken free sailing vessel that was threatening other boats and the marina itself, to a safe jetty and secured.

The Auxiliary recommends to all boat owners that it is not only the equipment above water that needs routine maintenance and repair, but so do mooring ropes and anchoring equipment. Not only is it a shame, and a great waste, to needlessly watch expensive vessels being broken apart, but the time taken in towing and re-securing these vessels may delay calls where life may actually be at risk.