Ucluelet whale watching boat being towed to shore after taking on water

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Twenty-four passengers and crew aboard a whale-watching boat from Ucluelet were towed safely to shore on Saturday morning, July 30, after the adventure vessel ran aground and began to take on water.

The 50 feet MV Princess Chinookwhich is part of the Jamie Whaling Station fleet, got into trouble in the Coaster Channel near Turret Island in the Broken Group Islands around 11:00 a.m.

“A submerged rock or log is believed to have contacted the stern of the vessel. This contact resulted in a small leak at the rudder seal, which was successfully managed by the onboard pumps. The crew assessed the damage and decided to contact the Coast Guard,” Jamie Whaling Station general manager Adam Doolittle said in an email.

The CCGS Cape McKay from the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) Bamfield Lifeboat Station assisted in the rescue, as did volunteers from the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue (RCMSAR) 38 from Ucluelet. Several occasional vessels also responded to the distress broadcast on channel 16, including a Parks Canada vessel.

“On behalf of the Canadian Coast Guard, we would like to thank all of the vessels of opportunity who responded and assisted in the rescue of those aboard the MV Chinook Princess in coordination with our crew at Bamfield Lifeboat Station. We especially want to acknowledge the professionalism of our marine response partners at Parks Canada and RCMSAR who work with us to keep mariners safe on the west coast of Vancouver Island,” said CCG Superintendent Maria McCooey. , Search and Rescue, in an email.

Doolittle says the Princess Chinook arrived at Ucluelet Harbor around 2:30 p.m.

“The safety of our passengers and crew has always been the number one priority at Jamie’s. These exact situations are what our team trains for frequently with our routine safety drills. It was this training that kept the incident from escalating as the crew properly assessed and acted on the situation,” Doolittle said.

“On behalf of the entire Jamie’s team, we would like to thank those who contributed to this situation, ensuring the safe return of all passengers and crew.”


nora.omalley@westerlynews.ca
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