Three young people were rescued off the shore of Crescent Beach Saturday evening after their Sea-Doo started to take on water.
White Rock Sea Tours owner Andrew Newman was eating dinner in the Crescent Beach Yacht Club restaurant when a mayday call came in at approximately 9 p.m.
Newman told the Now-Leader Sunday that he ran to his boat and located three individuals in the water. The individuals appeared to be teenagers, he said. Newman said he was the second vessel on scene. Another vessel, named Frosty, was already tending to the teens as he arrived. The teens were uninjured.
Newman said he wasn’t sure how the teens got themselves into trouble, but noted the Sea-Doo was “swamped” and was partially submerged when he arrived.
“They were about 300 metres off of the Crescent Beach pier. They weren’t far. But it might as well be 10 miles if you can’t touch the bottom,” Newman said. “We’re really lucky in this area that in the summertime we don’t have more marine incidents, loss of life types of things. It’s a gong show.”
The teens were wearing lifejackets.
Lifejackets are not legally required to be worn on vessels, which is something Newman would like to see changed.
“Absolutely. Even on a big vessel it wouldn’t hurt. Because on a BC Ferry, if all of a sudden they got a hole in it, you know it’s mayhem. But on a small pleasure craft, a small boat or even a mid-sized boat, for sure. All of my passengers always wear (personal flotation devices) and we don’t leave the dock unless we’ve got them on. When you need it, it will be too late. You’ll be in the water, you’ve fallen off, you can’t put it on and then you’re done,” Newman said.
Note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly reported the teens were not wearing lifejackets.