Man rescued after driving off empty Kwuna ferry ramp

A man was rescued yesterday after driving a pick-up truck off the empty Kwuna ferry ramp and into the ocean.

A man was rescued yesterday after driving a pick-up truck off the empty Kwuna ferry ramp and into the ocean.

The Kwuna was still crossing from Sandspit and was a good distance from the Skidegate Landing terminal when the man crashed through a guard arm and drove down the ramp into the water at about 3:20 p.m. Monday.

Sergeant Terry Gillespie of the Queen Charlotte RCMP says BC Ferries staff and other people nearby rushed to save the driver his truck had quickly drifted about 30 metres from shore and was starting to sink.

“They got to it just in time” said Sgt. Gillespie.

“It was their heroic efforts that likely saved his life.”

Deborah Marshall, a BC Ferries spokesperson, said one person parked a truck with a winch on the ramp while another two swam out with a tow line in the 11 C water. They hooked the line to the pick-up truck bumper so it could be winched ashore.

The pick-up truck driver received First Aid from a paramedic who was called to the scene, and was then taken to the Queen Charlotte hospital by ambulance.

“It’s my understanding that they had the truck back on land within five minutes,” said Marshall.

“It was very impressive.”

The RCMP have begun an investigation of the incident that will likely take months to complete.