4 boaters rescued by RCAF search and rescue crew near Sooke

Royal Canadian Air Force Search and Rescue Technicians are seen on a beach near Sooke, B.C. from a RCAF Cormorant helicopter, after arriving on scene of a boating accident on May 31. Four people were later hoisted to safety from the remote area with no injuries. Royal Canadian Air Force

VANCOUVER – Four boaters had to be rescued on Saturday evening after their small skiff lost engine power and hit a rock near Sooke.

Search and rescue crews from the Royal Canadian Air Force’s 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron left from 19 Wing Comox to rescue the group.

Luckily, the four boaters were able to steer their craft to shore and had a radio with them to call for help.

They contacted the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC) Victoria, located at CFB Esquimalt, and the CH-149 Cormorant helicopter arrived on scene at about 7 p.m.

“The boaters did the right thing by steering toward shore after hitting rocks and taking on water, rather than trying to save their craft and possibly sinking,” says Sgt. Robin Richardson, Search and Rescue Technician, 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron .  “They activated their marine radio, called for help and were in the process of making a survival fire when we arrived.”

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Two search and rescue technicians were hoisted 100 feet to the rocky shoreline and as soon as they determined no one needed medical aid, the four people were hoisted into the helicopter.

They were flown to a sports field at a local high school and did not sustain any injuries.

“We located the boaters on the shore of a rocky inlet, after receiving the call from JRCC,” says Cpt. Will Livingston, Cormorant helicopter pilot, 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron. “We hoisted the two search and rescue technicians onto a spit of land and they made their way on foot to where the boaters had taken shelter on the beach.  Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue 37 was also on scene in support, but were unable to proceed too close to the shore due to rocks.”

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