VICTORIA -- A tugboat assisting in towing a barge with two homes on it ended up capsizing near Point Holmes off Comox, Vancouver Island.

The incident happened just after 7 p.m. Thursday as two tugboats were guiding the barge to shore. During the trip, the smaller tugboat, called a "dozer tug," flipped.

"It was just a quick jerk and the next thing you know the little boat just completely flipped over," says Marie Racine, who was on shore hoping to see the barge offload the homes.

The tug didn't right itself and Racine says it took the tugboat operator 20 to 30 seconds to resurface, which seemed like an eternity at the time.

"It was intense to see it capsize but way more intense to see the time period where this man was (underwater)," Racine says. "Is he going to come up? Is he going to live? And thank god that he did."

The man was able to climb up onto the hull of the ship and was rescued immediately by the other tugboat and people aboard the barge.

Racine says the capsized boat ended up being tied to the barge and the barge did not make it the shore that evening.

The Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC) says it was aware of the incident but did not deploy resources at the time. The JRCC adds that is not that uncommon for these types of tugboats to flip.