The Island Roamer is an eight-cabin sailboat run by Bluewater Adventures. Its passengers were evacuated near Louise Island after the boat began taking on water on Monday, June 5. (Bluewater Adventures photo)

Island Roamer sailboat safely evacuated near Louise Island

Ten tourists were safely evacuated from the Island Roamer sailing ketch after its hull glanced a shoal near Windy Bay on Monday, June 5.

No injuries were reported, and the passengers are currently headed to Sandpit on the Coast Guard ship Tanu.

A distress call went out from the Island Roamer just after 8 p.m. Responders included the crew aboard the Cape Mudge, the lifeboat at the Sandspit Coast Guard station.

Randy Burke is president of Bluewater Adventures, which operates the vessel. He says the company appreciates the Coast Guard response.

With the Cape Mudge still on scene, Bluewater Adventures began assessing the damage to the Island Roamer in a protected bay off Talunkwan Island.

Burke said it wasn’t on the shoal for long.

“It was a basically a glance, just a matter of seconds,” he said.

A 68-foot motor sailer with eight cabins, the Island Roamer first launched in 1983 and is a Coast Guard-certified boat that undergoes safety checks every year.

Correction and update: An earlier version of this story stated that the Island Roamer glanced an unmarked shoal near Windy Bay. In fact, the shoal in question was not unmarked — it was charted in 2011 by the Canadian Hydrographic Service. And it is the CHS, not the Canadian Coast Guard, which is responsible for charting Canadian waters. We regret the errors.

A subsequent review by the crew of the Canadian Coast Guard ship Tanu found the Island Roamer actually grounded where two rocks were identified and reported by the CHS two years ago. The CHS has made surveys of Haida Gwaii waters a key focus, and has two ships surveying the region this summer.

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