Man overboard rescued in harbour

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A man was rescued from Ganges Harbour after his boat capsized in the water near Grace Point Square on Friday morning.

Witnesses to the accident, which occurred at about 9:30 a.m., quickly sprang into action. One bystander and two BC Hydro workers took a boat over to the man, who witnesses say was face down in the water without a lifejacket. The BC Hydro worker held the victim’s head above water as they moved towards a nearby dock.

“He was floating face down but the backpack was holding him up,” said Dave Howell, who witnessed the rescue. “The hydro guys were just coming to work and he yelled that there was a guy in the water. One of them got in the boat . . . and they brought him over to here . . . The crews ran around, got him out of the water. He had no pulse and wasn’t breathing. They did chest compressions and he lit up right away.”

The rescuers performed CPR on the man until he regained consciousness. Emergency crews arrived on the scene and took over care. The man was conscious when emergency crews arrived. Ambulance crews gave the victim oxygen and brought blankets to help warm him up. The man was conscious but incoherent when crews loaded him onto a stretcher and took him to Lady Minto Hospital.

Randall Burke witnessed the rescue.

“The hydro fellow went to the front of the boat and pulled him out of the water. They put him on the dock over there, gave him CPR and brought him back to life,” Burke said. “He was basically a hair away from passing away and it was their valiant effort that led to him getting the breeze and seeing another day. It’s another thing that we owe the hydro boys for . . . they just saved one of our neighbours.”

Since the call was for a water rescue in “Ganges Harbour,” emergency crews had difficulty finding the exact spot of the incident.

“We got a call for a drowning in Ganges Harbour,” said Salt Spring Fire Chief Arjuna George. “We had no real address, so we had to look in a couple of spots.”

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