Man pulled from ocean after clinging to side of boat for 25 minutes

Man pulled from ocean after clinging to side of boat for 25 minutes

Oak Bay Municipal Coun. Tara Ney called 911 after hearing shouts for help on her walk to the Oak Bay cenotaph this morning.

The sharp hearing of Coun. Tara Ney and the quick response of the Oak Bay Police quite possibly saved a life this morning.

As Ney walked to the Oak Bay cenotaph for the Remembrance Day ceremony on Saturday, she heard shouts for help. Hearing that it was coming from the water off Beach Dr. near the Oak Bay Marina, but unable to see where the person was located, she quickly called 911.

Oak Bay police officers immediately responded and observed a man clinging to the side of his moored sailboat in the bay. The man was not able to pull himself on board and was calling for help.

Officers flagged down a nearby boater, and with the boater’s assistance, pulled the man out of the frigid waters.

“We’re grateful the pedestrian called us and very thankful for the assistance of the boater. This is a great example of how the whole community has a vital role to play in public safety,” says Deputy Chief Ray Bernoties.

The man received immediate medical attention. It is estimated that he was in the water for over 25 minutes, hanging on the side of his boat, shoulder deep in the water. The male, in his late 50s, is doing well and has recovered from his exposure.

“I couldn’t be prouder of these officers. When describing the event to me, they were incredibly humble. In truth, they quite likely saved this man’s life,” says Bernoties.

The responding Oak Bay police officers returned to their posts for the Remembrance Day service.

keri.coles@oakbaynews.com