Couple Rescued from Burning Boat in Outer Gulf Islands

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Gossip Island: On June 11, 2014 at approximately 4:00 p.m., Coast Guard and the Outer Gulf Islands R.C.M.P responded to a Mayday call in the Straight of Georgia, approximately 1 kilometre from Gossip Island.

The call came from a couple aboard their 1987 ‘Hershine’ fibreglass pleasure vessel, 52 feet in length that was reportedly on fire. A whale watching boat and a small fishing boat happened to be in the area and were first on scene. They managed to assist and get the couple and their dog safely off the ship.

When the R.C.M.P. vessel and Coast Guard hovercraft arrived at the scene, the boat was fully engulfed in flames. The couple was transported to Galiano Island where they boarded a B.C. Ferry back to the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal. The couple were from Newfoundland and were just coming back from a weeklong trip in the San Juan Islands on route through Active Pass to Steveston, B.C.

The fire is believed to have started in one of the two diesel engines on board. The couple were extremely lucky to have escaped as they had experienced great difficulty releasing their small dingy from the main vessel. The R.C.M.P. would like to acknowledge and thank the assistance from the other boaters.

The boat eventually sank as a result of this fire.