Five people were rescued just west of Naden Harbour on Saturday morning after their 70-foot wooden vessel began taking on water.
Massett Marine Rescue / RCMSAR45 responded to a Mayday call from the Pacific Pearl at approximately 9:30 a.m. and deployed their new fast-response vessel Tagwaal.
Chirs Ashurst of Masset Marine Rescue said the Masset RCMP vessel and the CCGS MacIntyre Bay out of Prince Rupert were also deployed.
“When we arrived on scene the vessel was riding very low and making way to the shelter of Naden Harbour, with the plan that we would be able to assist with pumping,” Ashcroft said in a Facebook post. “Within minutes she lost propulsion, went adrift and headed for the Mazarredo Islands. With northerly winds pushing a gnarly wind chop and the tide turning things were getting a bit hairy out there.
“We managed to get a pump over to the crew that were doing everything they could to keep her afloat, and took her under tow to keep her off the rocks and buy time. It was a near thing, but we managed to hold on. The CCGS Macintyre Bay arrived in record time and assisted with pumping, but ultimately the crew was evacuated and that grand old vessel went down. We released the tow line, marked with a red buoy, and all the action finally stopped. It was a sombre time watching her slip down.”
While unable to rescue the vessel, Ashurst said the main thing was that everyone made it to shore safely.
“We returned minus a lot of gear sacrificed to the effort, but all the crew from each of the four vessels involved made it safely back to dock. I’m incredibly impressed by the professionalism and skill of all involved in this nightmare scenario, and so appreciative of the efforts of so many people to have a station, crew, and our community’s new rescue vessel Tagwaal be ready to assist when the call comes in,” he said.