West Vancouver’s marine search and rescue unit was called out Monday evening after a paddle boarder got lost in the fog in English Bay.
The paddle boarder was out on the water around 6 p.m. when he became disoriented in the thick fog. Although he wasn’t very far from shore, the man couldn’t get his bearings, so paddled up close to a freighter at anchor and phoned for assistance.
Luckily, a water taxi from Tymac Launch reached the boarder soon after and brought him back to shore.
“He absolutely did the right thing by going to a fixed known place,” said Hugh Kelsey, coxswain on the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue unit based in Horseshoe Bay.
He added going paddle boarding in thick fog “may not have been the best choice.”
Just a couple of hours later, at 8:30 p.m. the marine search and rescue crew was again alerted by the B.C. Ferries vessel Queen of Capilano about a small boat in Howe Sound that showed up on the radar as possibly disoriented in the fog.
The West Vancouver marine unit, which was already in Howe Sound on training exercises, spent about an hour looking for the ship without finding it. Kelsey said the boat had probably made it in to Snug Cove by the time searchers arrived in the area.
Kelsey said both calls emphasize the importance of anyone who’s out on the water pre-planning a route in the fog and using GPS and radar to keep track of where they are.
“If you don’t know, stop and figure it out,” he added.