All safe fol­low­ing emer­gency re­sponse

Res­cue ar­ranged by neigh­bour­ing fire de­part­ments, lo­cal boat own­ers

The Compass - - NEWS - BYMELISSA JENK­INS melissa.jenk­

The sound of sirens and the echo of speed­ing ve­hi­cles was ap­par­ent on Wa­ter Street in Car­bon­ear Sept. 18 at 5 p.m.

The Car­bon­ear Vol­un­teer Fire Depart­ment and the Har­bour Grace Vol­un­teer Fire Bri­gade sprung into ac­tion when they re­ceived a call from the RCMP about a pos­si­ble over­turned sail­boat off Crocker’s Cove Beach around Car­bon­ear Is­land, fire­fight­ers said.

Har­bour Grace’s cold-wa­ter res­cue team was also dis­patched when it got word that at least two oc­cu­pants were on board.

The joint res­cue co-or­di­na­tion cen­tre in Hal­i­fax were also no­ti­fied of the sit­u­a­tion.

There was no time to waste. It was all hands on deck when wit­nesses saw the boat dis­ap­pear be­hind the is­land.

Pre­par­ing for the res­cue

A 65-foot fish­ing ves­sel called the Covenant II was the first boat on the scene. It was search­ing the wa­ters around Car­bon­ear Is­land when fire­fight­ers first ar­rived at Crocker’s Cove.

Lo­cal fish­er­man and Car­bon­ear Mayor Sam Slade im­me­di­ately of­fered his as­sis­tance in the res­cue ef­forts. The Car­bon­ear fire depart­ment in­formed him of the sit­u­a­tion as soon as they were no­ti­fied by the RCMP.

Boat owner and char­ter tours op­er­a­tor Dean Pen­ney also had his ves­sel — 3 Ladies — out on the wa­ter, al­though he was not on­board.

Boyd Snow of Bris­tol’s Hope is a mem­ber of the Cana­dian Coast Guard Aux­il­iary and re­ceived a call from the JRCC Hal­i­fax. His per­sonal boat is tied up at the ma­rina in Har­bour Grace but friend Dean Pen­ney of­fered his own ves­sel to him for the search.

Slade met the cold wa­ter res­cue team at Car­bon­ear wharf af­ter it was de­ter­mined the waves were too rough and the dis­tance was too far for the cold wa­ter res­cue craft to be used.

Slade, his son Wayne and the team boarded Slade’s boat — the Dana Denise — and headed to­wards the ves­sel’s last known where­abouts, south of Car­bon­ear Is­land.

Slade kept watch at the back of the pack, while Snow hur­ried to­ward where two lo­cals claimed to have seen the boat last — to­wards Bris­tol’s Hope.

Car­bon­ear’s fire­fight­ers left Crocker’s Cove and drove to meet the two boats near Bris­tol’s Hope.

Sail­boat found

With suit and tie on, S lade ma­neu­vered his boat to where the sail­boat rested in the cove. It was achnored down near the shore when res­cue ar­rived.

The crews noted the small craft had not cap­sized and no one had fallen in the wa­ter. The sail­boat had made the trip from its home­port of Holy­rood and ex­pe­ri­enced some rough waves. The cold-wa­ter res­cue crew said the oc­cu­pants were try­ing to seek shel­ter from the wind.

The ini­tial call to the RCMP was made af­ter some­one thought they saw the boat over­turn with sev­eral peo­ple in the wa­ter.

Fire­fight­ers con­firm the owner of the boat was drop­ping his sail and it fell in the wa­ter. It is be­lieved this is what the caller had seen.

Af­ter ver­i­fy­ing the crew of four was fine, both boats headed back to Car­bon­ear wharf.

The crew of the sail­boat made the Bris­tol’s Hope cove their home for the night.

Car­bon­ear As­sis­tant Fire Chief Brent Sweeney was ap­pre­cia­tive for the as­sis­tance they re­ceived from Har­bour Grace.

“We are so thank­ful that the depart­ment was here to give us a hand,” he ex­plained. “And we are also thank­ful to Sam and Dean for tak­ing the time to look for the boaters.”

Sweeney also men­tioned two lo­cals, Danny Dwyer and Dennis Ash Sr., who of­fered their life jack­ets and other boat­ing gear for the res­cue crew to take out.

The head of the Har­bour Grace cold-wa­ter res­cue team, Bill Ryan, said they were happy they could be of as­sis­tance, but were grate­ful res­cue wasn’t needed.

Lo­cals gath­ered around the wharf as the boats headed in to shore. Some even cheered when they learned ev­ery­thing was al­right and no one had fallen into the wa­ter.

Photo by Melissa Jenk­ins

The cold-wa­ter res­cue team from Har­bour Grace were all smiles af­ter learn­ing all pa­trons of a sail­boat that al­legedly over­turned near Car­bon­ear Har­bour were all safe and dry in Bris­tol’s Hope cove. Those on one of the res­cue boats were, from left, Wade Luff­man, Dave Reg­u­lar, Wayne Slade, boat owner Sam Slade, head of cold wa­ter res­cue Bill Ryan and Stephen Sul­li­van.

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