On Saturday 29th August 2020 while in transit between Sand Heads and Active Pass, the Delta Lifeboat received a signal that a BC Ferry had sighted what appeared to be a sunken vessel barely awash in the ferry lanes. Having been given a good position the lifeboat altered course to investigate.
Coming on the scene it was found to be a small fibreglass vessel, probably about 20’ long with its bow straight down and only about 5’ of the stern sticking vertically out of the water.
Being in US waters, communications were established with US Coast Guard Puget Sound and a situation report was passed. The lifeboat was requested to commence a box search to find any other floating material. A USCG helicopter was tasked from Port Angeles as was a response boat from the Bellingham Coast Guard station.
When the helicopter arrived on scene and radio communications were established, the lifeboat was asked to go alongside the vessel and bang on the hull in case a person was trapped inside. Shortly afterwards the USCG vessel arrived and after passing all known info the Delta Lifeboat was stood down and able to continue on its mission.
While the Canadian Coast Guard was kept fully informed it appeared an incident the night before might be related. A small vessel had been in trouble off Porlier Pass and the hovercraft rescued 2 survivors. Although an attempt was made to save the vessel the tow line parted twice so it was abandoned in rough seas.
It is believed that this vessel, now deemed a hazard to navigation, was the same one now drifting in US waters. Over the next 2 days, dozens of sightings were reported to Coast Guard radio.
A post-incident follow up with the hovercraft base reported the vessel as the S.V Pickle, 12’ in length with a broad beam. The hovercraft was later tasked to recover the vessel and transported it to the Sea Island Coast Guard Base.
The CLI was very busy at the Vancouver International Boat Show at BC Place. We have had quite a few people showing interest in joining. Our fundraising campaign is doing very well with a lot of donations, which is why Brian is smiling! These donations are SO important to us, as we have to always have alternative means of supporting our operations. Old and new crew members are doing a great job in engaging with the visitors. The Delta Lifeboat participated in the floating boat show part.
On Sunday afternoon the Delta Lifeboat crew responded to a request for medical assistance aboard a Dutch motor vessel in the boat show. Arriving on the scene by foot, members found a 49-year-old female had fallen 6’ down an open engine room hatch. The patient was in shock and severe pain. An assessment left the crew to believe she had a possible broken arm, damage to a knee and a concussion. The patient was removed with great difficulty and secured in the lifeboat stretcher, wrapped and treated for shock. An EHS ambulance was called. After carrying the patient to the head of the ramp members assisted EHS to load her into the ambulance for transport to the hospital.
That evening the crew were relieved to learn that no bones were in fact broken but a week’s bed rest was ordered.
On Saturday 25 Jan 2020, the Fraser Lifeboat tested raising and lowering the mast after recent maintenance. A lowered mast allows us to get under bridges and into areas that a vessel this size wouldn’t normally be able to go. We trained at the dock and then underway so the crew could learn to handle the vessel and understand the procedures. As restricted visibility conditions prevailed, we exercised radar training and then recovery of a simulated person in water drills.
Canadian Lifeboat Institution
The CLI frequently conducts extended training exercises where we take crew outside their usual familiar surrounding and comfort zones and introduce new challenges to keep honing skills.
On Saturday 06 Jul 2019, crews planned a 9-hour circumnavigation voyage of the Fraser River taking in both the South and North Arms. Working as a team, they took into account weather, currents, tide, and locations that we would be heading to. They decided to route Steveston>Gunderson Slough>New Westminster>North Arm Fraser to Mill Town Marina – planned lunch break, then Mill Town Marina> North Jetty> head south and stay east of traffic lanes to Sandheads>Steveston. Continue reading “Fraser River Circumnavigation Training Exercise – 2019”