Quick thinking saves four

  • Aug. 20, 2004 4:00 p.m.

By Mariah McCooey–Quick thinking – and a shovel – were key in last week’s dramatic rescue of four people after their small boat sank off Queen Charlotte.
A child (fortunately wearing a lifejacket) and three adults took a small catamaran whitewater raft for a cruise off Queen Charlotte Wednesday evening (Aug. 18), but instead of sticking to shore, as they had planned, they decided to go out farther to one of the small islands. Disaster, or near-disaster, struck when the boat started to sink.
“The drain plug wasn’t installed right,” said Norman Wagner, who sprang into action when he noticed the foundering boat. “And you know how the more water comes in, the faster it sinks.”
Mr. Wagner quickly launched his canoe, but the boaters had borrowed his paddles – so he found the next best thing – a shovel – to paddle with. Once he reached the swimmers and their submerged boat, he said he put the child in the canoe with him, and paddled back to shore, towing the sunken boat with the three clinging adults.
“Luckily the water’s not too cold,” he said, adding that they all had a good laugh afterward. The only casualty was the outboard motor on the boat, which was tossed to increase buoyancy.