The sunken boat was spotted laying on its side in Portage Inlet on Dec. 28. (Reader submitted)

The sunken boat was spotted laying on its side in Portage Inlet on Dec. 28. (Reader submitted)

Emergency crews rescue Saanich man from Portage Inlet for a third time

First rescue came after the man’s houseboat sank in the Gorge Waterway on Dec. 27

A Saanich man was rescued from Portage Inlet for a third time on Friday morning, this time by View Royal emergency crews.

The man simply identified as Barry in a GoFundMe page was rescued from his capsized boat in the Gorge Waterway by Victoria and Saanich police in the early hours of Dec. 27. A passerby called 911 after spotting Barry, 66, and his dog, Milo, clinging to the side of the boat they were living on.

READ MORE: Saanich, Victoria police rescue man and his dog from sinking houseboat

After spending the morning in the hospital, Barry made his way to Portage Inlet where his boat had ended up. He got back into the water in an attempt to find his dog and retrieve his belongings, said Deputy Fire Chief Dan Wood after the Dec. 31 rescue.

The Saanich Fire Department and the Canadian Coast Guard had been called to come and secure the boat and make sure its engine wasn’t leaking. Upon arrival, crews spotted Barry in the water near his boat – too cold to swim back to shore. After the rescue, he was taken back to the hospital.

READ MORE: VIDEO: Greater Victoria man rescued from sinking home twice in one day

On Jan. 3, Barry was once again spotted in the water, this time he was heading to his floating dock on the View Royal side of the inlet. West Shore RCMP received a report at about 9:30 a.m. and by the time officers arrived, the View Royal Fire Rescue and paramedics were already working to get Barry out of the water, noted Const. Nancy Saggar, media relations officer.

It was the third time Barry was rescued from the water in one week. He was taken to the hospital again and residents looked after his dog.

READ MORE: GoFundMe started for Saanich man and dog found clinging to sinking houseboat

The GoFundMe page set up by Barry’s sister, Tiferet Welch, on Dec. 29 has surpassed the $1,800 goal. In just four days, more than $3,255 was raised to help him pay for accommodation as Welch wrote that his boat is “unsalvageable.”

Welch wrote that her brother had suffered several strokes in the weeks before the incident and that he’d been living on the boat for the past five years.


@devonscarlett
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devon.bidal@saanichnews.com