Four people and a dog were rescued from a sinking yacht off southern Vancouver Island Friday (June 30) night.
Capt. Chelsea Dubeau said the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre received a mayday call from a motor yacht located around 17 kilometres southeast of Victoria Harbour around 6 p.m. which reported it was taking on water.
Aircraft and boats were dispatched to the scene, including a CH-149 Cormorant helicopter and CC-130 Hercules plane from 19 Wing Comox, a helicopter from the U.S. Coast Guard, and two Canadian Coast Guard vessels.
Three people and a dog were spotted in a dinghy by the U.S. helicopter and hoisted to safety around 8 p.m. before being dropped off at the Victoria Coast Guard base where they were transported by BC Ambulance to hospital.
The fourth person was located and rescued by the Canadian helicopter around an hour later as the individual’s location was reported incorrectly initially, Dubeau said, resulting in a search.
Weather was a factor throughout the incident, which concluded around 9:30 p.m., with choppy seas and wind gusts reaching 70 km/h.
“These situations are never easy, but this was a pretty great example of the cooperation and coordination between the U.S. Coast Guard and JRCC assets,” said Dubeau.