Two people are safe after their boat caught fire on Monday afternoon off the northern tip of Vancouver Island.
According to Maritime Forces Pacific (MARPAC), a distress signal was sent from the operators of the 14-metre pleasure craft around 1:30 p.m near the coast of Egg Island.
Military and coast guard personnel at the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Victoria responded but were unable to detect a radio signal and locate the ship.
Luckily, a civilian plane was flying overhead and reported the fire, a representative for MARPAC told Victoria Buzz.
Many thanks to 442 Sqn @RCAF_ARC and the @CoastGuardCAN who responded to a MAYDAY North of Vancouver island Yesterday!
Also Big thanks to the air-crew who also managed to get us these pictures!
More details can be read here 👇https://t.co/7gXIlioSMx… pic.twitter.com/ryiXGqZPoF
— MARPAC-JTFP / FMARP-FOIP (@MARPAC_FMARP) September 28, 2021
Both a Buffalo search-and-rescue plane and a Cormorant helicopter were dispatched from the Canadian Forces Base in Comox.
After locating the two operators, who had boarded a row boat but were rowing towards heavy seas and rocky terrain with high winds, the Buffalo aircraft was first on scene and dropped a radio and a sea-rescue kit, including a life raft, down to the rowboat.
A fishing boat picked up the two survivors approximately 15 minutes later where first responders determined they were uninjured in the incident.
Their 14-metre pleasure craft burned and sank as the coast guard arrived.
Victoria Buzz did not receive a response in time for publication on whether the coast guard will investigate the incident.