‘I just knew some­thing was wrong’

A P.E.I. cou­ple com­mends the Char­lot­te­town Fire De­part­ment on its quick re­sponse dur­ing a wa­ter res­cue yes­ter­day af­ter­noon

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - FRONT PAGE - BY MAU­REEN COULTER

Wade and Kim Martell were out on their boat en­joy­ing the sunny weather Fri­day af­ter­noon when it turned into an emer­gency.

The North Wilt­shire cou­ple had sailed out of Peakes Wharf in their boat called “Es­cape”, but within 20 min­utes of be­ing on the wa­ter they no­ticed the boat be­gan slow­ing down.

“I just knew some­thing was wrong,” said Wade. “It just wasn’t giv­ing the power that it nor­mally does.”

That was when Wade no­ticed the bilge pump was go­ing and that their boat had blown a wa­ter hose.

Kim ad­mits she was fright­ened when their boat be­gan tak­ing on wa­ter while they were in Hol­land’s Cove.

“I pan­icked a lit­tle bit, I’m not go­ing to lie, be­cause you are out on wa­ter and you don’t want your boat sink­ing,” said Kim.

Even their 10-month-old-dog, Tug­boat, was ner­vous when he saw wa­ter on the cabin floor.

How­ever, Wade main­tained a calm de­meanour in the emer­gency sit­u­a­tion.

“He was very calm,” said Kim. “He knew ex­actly what to do, so I just sort of took his lead and acted like it was just an­other day on the wa­ter ex­cept we were go­ing to have a nice lit­tle es­cort in.”

Wade says his train­ing in safety for his job as a con­struc­tion man­ager has taught him to stay calm in ev­ery sit­u­a­tion.

“Even with Kim be­ing fran­tic, you still have to stay calm,” said Wade.

“Pan­ick­ing doesn’t do any­thing,” ex­plained Wade. “If you get worked up when some­thing hap­pens, it ends up be­ing worse.”

The cou­ple called 911 at around 2:35 p.m., and the Char­lot­te­town Fire De­part­ment had a crew out on the wa­ter within 10 min­utes.

“The re­sponse team did a re­ally good job of get­ting here, and I re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate that,” said Wade.

“I did feel a lot bet­ter when I saw the Char­lot­te­town Fire De­part­ment com­ing,” said Kim.

A fire­fighter came on board and opened the door to the en­gine area and found that it was com­pletely full of wa­ter.

“I’m sur­prised the en­gine kept go­ing,” said Wade.

Wade and Kim were able to drive their boat back in to Peakes Wharf, but they were es­corted by the Char­lot­te­town Fire De­part­ment.

Quar­ter­mas­ter Ma­rine was quickly on the scene and pulled their boat out of the wa­ter as a small crowd watched ev­ery­thing un­fold.

“I think, tech­ni­cally, we prob­a­bly could have made it in to the dock and got off, but if Quar­ter­mas­ter Ma­rine wasn’t here with the trailer the boat would have sank,” said Kim.

The cou­ple has only been out on the boat about two dozen times since they bought it in the fall.

Wade said they are tak­ing the boat to Quar­ter­mas­ter Ma­rine to get it fixed. He also plans to in­stall an alarm sys­tem so they have warn­ing in the in­stance this hap­pens again.

Kim said she is feel­ing grate­ful that things turned out the way they did and for the help of the Char­lot­te­town Fire De­part­ment.

“I’m fine,” said Kim. “The dog is off the boat, the boat is out of the wa­ter and I’m not wet, so it’s all good.”

MAU­REEN COULTER/THE GUARDIAN

The Char­lot­te­town Fire De­part­ment guides Wade and Kim Martell safely back to shore af­ter their boat be­gan tak­ing on wa­ter in the Char­lot­te­town har­bour yes­ter­day af­ter­noon.

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