Canada Sailor gets big-time rescue after running aground south of Victoria

17:22  07 december  2017
17:22  07 december  2017 Source:   Vancouver Sun

Sleeping crew caused tug crash off B.C.: report

  Sleeping crew caused tug crash off B.C.: report BELLA BELLA, B.C. - The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board says the second mate of a tugboat fell asleep before it ran aground off the coast of British Columbia last year and spilled thousands of litres of fuel. The American safety agency says records show the second mate relieved the captain of watch duty and missed a scheduled change of course for the Nathan E. Stewart before the articulated tug and barge crashed near Bella Bella on Oct. 13, 2016.The board's report dated Nov. 21 says the second mate told investigators he missed the change of course because he had fallen asleep, which it says is the probable cause of the vessel running aground.

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One local sailor may have got more than he expected when he called for help Wednesday afternoon.

Shortly after 6 p.m. a a sailor in a 26-foot sailboat called 911 to say he’d run aground while motoring in a strong current south of Race Rocks Light, about 20 kilometres southwest of Victoria. 

The sailor also put out a mayday call.

It turns out two Royal Canadian Navy ships — HMCS Yellowknife and HMCS Winnipeg — were nearby on a training exercise.

Also involved in the training exercise was a Sea King helicopter.

All three responded; the sailor was hoisted off his floundering boat by the helicopter and eventually ferried to Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria.

Volunteers from Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue also responded to the scene.

Whether the sailboat could be saved was still being determined Wednesday evening, a spokesman from the Joint Rescue Command Centre in Victoria said.

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