Three fishermen's boat capsizes; they paddle raft eight miles to island
They used raft as their shelter on a Pacific Canadian island with "no real population"
A passing sailor in his 70s sights and rescues them
The Canadian Guard Coast is transporting the fishermen back to the mainland
Three shipwrecked fishermen lived on clams and seaweed for 10 days while stranded on an island off Canada’s Pacific Coast until a passing sailboat rescued them, the Royal Canadian Navy said Friday.
On Friday, the Canadian Coast Guard ship Tanu rendezvoused with the sailboat and was transporting the three fishermen northbound back to Prince Rupert, according to the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Victoria. The three fishermen were scheduled to arrive Friday night, and no injuries have been reported, authorities said.
The three men were on a fishing trip on their 50-foot liner Pacific Siren when it capsized about 70 miles south of Prince Rupert, the navy said.
The three men boarded a life raft and paddled eight miles to Banks Island, located off central British Columbia in the Hecate Strait, a fishing ground for salmon and halibut, the navy said.
While on the island, they used their raft as a shelter, the navy said.
Mackenzie Moseley, maritime coordinator for Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Victoria, described Banks Island as “real remote piece of coast with no real population.”
“So, to see three guys on beach is really odd in itself,” Moseley told CNN.
A passing sailor in his 70s in his boat, the Macona, was believed to be on a pleasure outing when he saw the stranded three fishermen, Moseley said.
The sailor radioed the Prince Rupert Coast Guard and then he anchored and launched a dinghy to approach the island shore, Moseley said.
The sailor gave the three men food and water and then called the coast guard again, Moseley said. The coast guard’s Tanu was on patrol an hour away when the call came in, Moseley said.
Said Moseley: “Real kudos to the sailing vessel Macona for keeping a sharp lookout and saw what was going on and did a good job.”
The three fishermen’s vessel didn’t have an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon, which transmits a distress signal anywhere in the world through a satellite system, the navy said.
Canadian authorities were to assess the three fishermen’s health once they boarded the coast guard ship.