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B.C. Ferries crews rescue man after canoe capsizes

Spirit of British Columbia rescue boat returning to ferry. (via Times Colonist)

A pair of B.C. Ferries helped rescue a man whose canoe capsized near Mayne Island Saturday night.

A spokesperson for the ferry service says the Queen of Cumberland was travelling from Pender Island to Mayne Island, while the Spirit of British Columbia was headed for Swartz Bay when they received a distress call just before 8 p.m.

Astrid Braunschmidt said the crews learned that a man was standing on a rock just off Helen Point and that his canoe was partially submerged.

The ferries launched their rescue boats and picked up the man, who had managed to swim to a nearby shore.

After determining the man was from Mayne Island, the rescue team from the Queen of Cumberland took him to the terminal at Village Bay, where he was met by paramedics and a B.C. Ferries vehicle “with the heat on,” Braunschmidt said.

The rescue delayed the ferries by about 15 to 30 minutes.

“We thank our customers for their patience and understanding as we responded to the incident,” Braunschmidt said in an email.

“Our crews are highly trained to respond to a variety of marine emergencies. Because of this training, we can respond quickly when called to do so.

“We're glad we could help in this situation, and we wish the man well.”

- Lindsay Kines, Times Colonist 

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