Getting the first person onto the vessel via the swim grid off the stern. Image: RCM-SAR - Station 37 Sooke

On Sunday afternoon, a mayday call went out after a 24-25ft open-topped aluminum boat overturned near Race Rocks. The boat was out on a diving trip with nine people on board.

According to CHEK News, one person dove under the boat to retrieve a hand-held marine radio to call for help.

Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue crew from Victoria and Sooke were called to the scene. A Springtide Whale Watching vessel, along with another boat nearby offered assistance.

Rescue crew found five people on top of the hull and four in the water. Everyone was quickly pulled to safety. All but one of the nine people in the water were wearing wet or dry suits.

The divers were transferred to Pedder Bay where ambulances, the fire department and a helicopter were waiting.

Approaching the over turned vessel and using a heaving line to get them off safely. Seas too heavy to come alongside. Image: RCM-SAR - Station 37 Sooke
Approaching the over turned vessel and using a heaving line to get them off safely. Seas too heavy to come alongside. Image: RCM-SAR – Station 37 Sooke
RCM-SAR Sooke getting more people off the boat. Image: RCM-SAR - Station 37 Sooke
RCM-SAR Sooke getting more people off the boat. Image: RCM-SAR – Station 37 Sooke
Getting the first person onto the vessel via the swim grid off the stern. Image: RCM-SAR - Station 37 Sooke
Getting the first person onto the vessel via the swim grid off the stern. Image: RCM-SAR – Station 37 Sooke
In the water and on the hull. 9 persons in need of rescue. Image: RCM-SAR - Station 37 Sooke
In the water and on the hull. 9 divers in need of rescue. Image: RCM-SAR – Station 37 Sooke
RCM-SAR Sooke arriving on-scene with Springtide whale watching standing by. Image: RCM-SAR - Station 37 Sooke
RCM-SAR Sooke arriving on-scene with Springtide Whale Watching standing by. Image: RCM-SAR – Station 37 Sooke
RCM-SAR 35 Victoria arriving on scene. Large waves as you can see. Image: RCM-SAR - Station 37 Sooke
RCM-SAR 35 Victoria arriving on scene. Large waves as you can see. Image: RCM-SAR – Station 37 Sooke
EHS waiting for patients. Image: RCM-SAR - Station 37 Sooke
EHS waiting for patients. Image: RCM-SAR – Station 37 Sooke
People on the boat waiting for rescue south of race rocks. Image: RCM-SAR - Station 37 Sooke
People on the boat waiting for rescue south of race rocks. Image: RCM-SAR – Station 37 Sooke
In Pedder Bay after getting all persons back to shore. Image: RCM-SAR - Station 37 Sooke
In Pedder Bay after getting all persons back to shore. Image: RCM-SAR – Station 37 Sooke