On Wednesday night around 9:30 p.m a B.C. Ferries trip from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay took a bizarre turn after a male on the Coast Celebration deployed a 100-person life raft then jumped overboard into Active Pass near Galiano Island.
After he deployed the raft, the man described in his mid-20s jumped overboard, missing the raft and ending up in the water.
BC Ferries deployed rescue boats from the Coastal Celebration and the Spirit of British Columbia, which happened to be nearby. B.C. Ferries also notified RCMP and coast guard that the incident was occurring.
RCMP officers responded immediately to the area to join in with the search. While on route, police received a second frantic call from a resident on Galiano Island that a male had just entered her residence.
The male had no clothing on, was completely soaked, incoherent and not responding.
The male allegedly started to throw furniture and other items around the residence causing damage. The resident managed to escape her home without injury and went to a neighbour’s house to call for help.
The male left the residence and walked to a nearby resort where he broke into one of the cabins.
Police contained the area until further police resources arrived, including members from the Sidney Detachment and the Police Dog Services. The male was eventually taken into custody without incident, and transported to Royal Jubilee Hospital for assessment.
Charges for Break and Enter, Unlawfully in a Dwelling and Mischief Under $5000 are being recommended by the RCMP. BC Ferries say they will also be pursuing charges.
The life raft that was sent into the water was tied up at Galiano overnight, Marshall said.
“We’ve got to go retrieve it [Thursday], bring it to our refit facility, you’ve got to dry it out, you’ve to reinspect it and then repack it,” she said. “It’s quite an undertaking.”
A similar incident occurred in 2005 when when a man jumped off the Spirit of British Columbia, also in Active Pass. A man needed to get to a baseball game on Mayne Island so prior to entering the ferry, he prepared by putting his gear into garbage bags, which were inflated for use as life preservers.
He made it to shore, but ended up in hospital for treatment of a buttocks injury suffered when he hit the water. He did not make it to his game.
He was put on six-months probation and ordered to repay $1,392 in rescue costs to B.C. Ferries, which barred him from ferry travel indefinitely.