A vessel burns off the coast of Qualicum Beach on May 23. (Petra Hergt photo)

A vessel burns off the coast of Qualicum Beach on May 23. (Petra Hergt photo)

2 people rescued after boat catches fire, sinks off Qualicum Beach

Craft had approximately 1,000 litres of diesel fuel on board

A vessel has sunk after catching fire off the coast of Qualicum Beach on May 23.

A fast response craft, French Creek One, rescued two people from the boat at approximately noon, according to Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC) Victoria. Both were transported via BC EHS for assessment.

The boat had approximately 1,000 litres of diesel fuel and three propane tanks on board and caused a large amount of black smoke, according to JRCC.

The majority of the fuel had burnt off prior to the vessel going down, according to the Canadian Coast Guard. Bits of debris on the water and a minimal non-recoverable sheen were observed after it sunk.

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The vessel, described as a 40-foot pleasure craft, sank at approximately 6 p.m. and the area is being monitored for leakage by the Canadian Coast Guard Environmental Response. The boat sunk in 300 feet of water, approximately one nautical mile from the beach, according to the Coast Guard.

The cause of the fire is unknown, according to the Coast Guard, which will assess the scene again today.

— NEWS Staff

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