Stationt 14 Gibsons
Station 37 Sooke
Brewin
Station 20 Salish Seas
Station 50
November 6th, 2006
November 6th, 2006

Boy rescued as craft cast adrift

It´s another example of the awesome power of the ocean.
A gust of wind at an inopportune time resulted in a tense afternoon for a father and son who had planned to spend time on the water together off Cattle Point.
Around 4:45 p.m. Sunday, Oak Bay Sea Rescue were called into action by the regional rescue coordination centre.
"As far as we understand the boy who was in the small Zodiac was helping his father launch the craft from Cattle Point," said Lincoln Turner, with Oak Bay Sea Rescue.
As the father drove away to park the truck and trailer, his 10-year-old son waited in the small inflatable dinghy.
A sudden gust blew the dinghy out into the ocean where the craft became grounded on a rocky outcrop about 20 metres from shore.
"It sort of goes deep and shallow so you´d almost have to swim to get over there," Turner said.
Instead of trying to resolve the situation themselves, the father and son kept their cool and called in the experts. It was the right thing to do, said Turner.
"I think it was a pretty innocent mistake," he said. "It was good they notified the right people rather than trying to get out of it themselves."
As the drama was unfolding at sea, David Holmes was at home nearby. The 17-year member of the Oak Bay Sea Rescue was among the five people on call that day. Within 20 minutes, the crew was at the scene with their 28-foot rescue boat. Holmes and Turner - along with fellow crew members Glenn Barker, Scott Currie and Mike McLean - approached the boy, who remained brave and helpful.
"We had to throw him a line and pull him in," said Holmes, the coxswain and leader of the rescue party.
The crew instructed the boy to anchor the rope around the Zodiac´s outboard motor. By 5:21 p.m. the 10-year-old was safely back at the launch ramp - to the joy of his father and the delight of a crowd of about 10 watching the action from the shore.
Among the gathering was Marie O´Shaughnessy, who took the photos accompanying this story.
"I was out bird watching when this drama of a little boy in a small Zodiac unfolded," O´Shaughnessy reported. "He seemed to be drifting further away from his father who stood at the foot of the boat launch. I do not know of the circumstances that caused this young boy to be adrift, but it wasn´t long before the Oak Bay Sea Rescue Zodiac arrived."
The OBSR has a complement of about 40 volunteers, maintaining a rotation of eight crews of five. Members who are on call carry pagers and must stay within 15 minutes of the Oak Bay Marina.
The crew responds to between 50 and 70 calls per year. For more information about Oak Bay´s non-profit rescue crew, go to http://www.obsr.ca

-article by Jim Zeeben, Victoria News


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