Friday, March 13, 2009


Christine and I were hosting her brother and his wife as we breakfasted at White Rock on a windy morning and then drove to Crescent Beach. Near Blackie’s Spit we parked to watch a Fisheries hovercraft come ashore. That was impressive. One sees one of these vehicles only rarely. Why did it come ashore?

In a couple of minutes a Fire Department Rescue truck and personnel arrived, followed by an ambulance and some paramedics. A free lance videographer shot the unfolding drama hoping to sell it to Global TV.

The crisis developed around 8:00 am with a young man who was kite surfing far off shore in Boundary Bay and found himself being dragged out to sea without his board. He was helpless in the water for at least three hours.

An observant beach house resident spotted him at sea and called 911 and initiated this rescue. Delta Marine Rescue Service responded with a pickup and then a transfer to the CCG Hovercraft Penac and then to paramedics on shore. It was a thrill to observe.

We did not learn whether he was injured but he did suffer from hypothermia. When he was stabilized sufficiently to be removed from the hovercraft, it was obvious that his core temperature had plummeted drastically because as he was carried to the ambulance his body wrapped in blankets trembled uncontrollably.

This is a moment when one is proud of the professionals who care for us in a variety of areas and also one is grateful to live in this land.

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