The danger of boating alone was brought home to a Richmond resident when his small 11-foot aluminium boat suddenly started to take on water and sink leaving him swimming for this life.
On Thursday, August 27, 2020, the Delta Lifeboat was returning into Sea Reach to the Delta Lifeboat Station in Ladner from an evening of training. At 8:45 pm one of the Lookouts reported debris in the water ahead. It was now after sunset and getting dark.
On closer investigation, it was found to be a submerged small boat with loose gear that had floated free. Suddenly one of the Lookouts reported he could hear a cry for help. Switching on Delta’s powerful searchlights revealed a man in the water waving.
The Lifeboat was manoeuvred alongside and the man was hauled aboard where he was treated for hypothermia. While he was being attended to, the Lifeboat crew managed to recover some of the debris and lash his skiff to the stern. During the recovery, RCM-SAR stood by to provide assistance if required. After making a full report to the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre, the Lifeboat returned at 10 pm to Ladner where the survivor was met by a thankful wife.
This was a very lucky rescue, for, with total darkness descending and an outflowing river, the survivor would have been swept out into the Gulf and perhaps not found until the next day with possibly tragic results.