Three people had to be rescued Friday night after the 38-foot boat they were in ran aground near Billings Spit in Sooke Harbour. (Facebook/Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue Station 37)

Three people had to be rescued Friday night after the 38-foot boat they were in ran aground near Billings Spit in Sooke Harbour. (Facebook/Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue Station 37)

Three people rescued after boat runs aground near Sooke harbour

Sailors misjudged height of sandbar, says search and rescue

Three people were rescued after their boat got too close to the shore near Sooke harbour.

Search and rescue crews responded to a call for help after a 38-foot sailing vessel ran aground at Billings Spit while leaving the harbour just after 7 p.m. on Friday (Nov. 6).

“They had misjudged the height of the sandbar near the spit, which is pretty easy to do because it’s such a narrow channel,” said Ceara Mullin, station leader of Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue Station 37. “When we arrived, they still had power, life jackets and a heater.”

A resident from a nearby boat kept a close watch on the vessel while search and rescue crews headed to the scene, Mullin said.

Due to the combination of low tide and the deep-keeled boat, crews determined a tow wasn’t possible. They dropped anchor and returned the next morning to re-float the vessel. The small group was taken off the water around 8:30 p.m. and were dropped off at the marina just after 9 p.m.

There were no injuries reported, and the boat was re-floated Saturday afternoon.

Four SAR members attended the incident, including a new member attending his first emergency scene.

“It’s great practice, and luckily he was able to get a hands-on experience that wasn’t too intense,” Mullin said.

READ MORE: Search and rescue crews safely locate 19-year-old missing hiker in Sooke Potholes

ALSO READ: Search and rescue crews extricate man who fell down deep crevasse on Vancouver Island


 

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Three people had to be rescued on Friday night after the 38-foot boat they were in ran aground near Billings Spit in Sooke Harbour. (Facebook/Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue Station 37)

Three people had to be rescued on Friday night after the 38-foot boat they were in ran aground near Billings Spit in Sooke Harbour. (Facebook/Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue Station 37)