IT was a busy weekend for Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue volunteers as they responded to two incidents of sailboats running aground in English Bay on Saturday and Sunday.
RCMSAR volunteers from Station 1 in West Vancouver scrambled to the beach off Vancouver's West End just before 5 p.m. Saturday.
"It was pretty windy. A 30-odd-foot sailing vessel blew off its moorings and ended up right on the beach in English Bay. We were tasked and the (coast guard) hovercraft was tasked, the R.G. McBeath (Vancouver Police Department's patrol boat) was tasked," said Ian Grantham, RCMSAR member. "There was nobody on board. There was no life or limb in peril but it was in a foot of water."
The coast guard towed the boat to the Burrard Yacht Club.
The team quickly convened again on Sunday, just after 1 p.m. when another report of a stranded sailboat came in.
"Two people rented a sailboat and, during low tide, they went inside the mile marker off Point Grey, which is way too shallow, and beached themselves. It was blowing west at about 30 knots yesterday. It was a little lumpy and they called," Grantham said.
After getting the novice sailors ashore, responders brought in the owner of the charter company to retrieve this boat when the tide came back in.
While there has been much political ballyhoo over the federal Conservatives closing the Kitsilano Coast Guard station late last month, there's no need to make hay over the weekend's two callouts, Grantham said, as RCMSAR1 would typically respond to calls in English Bay, simply because of its proximity in Horseshoe Bay.
"That's just us. We're the volunteers everybody keeps talking about. . . . We are part of the search and rescue network. We are taskable and an asset considered by the coast guard and (Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre) who make these decisions," Grantham said. "It's certainly not an emergency cabinet meeting," he added with a laugh.