Naked man breaks into home after jumping off BC Ferries vessel
A bizarre case involving a man who jumped off a BC Ferries vessel in Active Pass got even stranger when the man allegedly showed up naked and incoherent at a home on Galiano Island.
RCMP said they received a call from the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre just after 10 p.m. Wednesday to help search for a man, reportedly in his mid-20s, who leaped off the Victoria-bound Coastal Celebration after launching one of the ship’s inflatable life rafts.
A witness said that the man unfastened the 100-person life raft before he flipped over the ship's railing.
“All of a sudden, the horn went off in Active Pass and then the guy just said ‘something’s happening, we gotta go!’” said the witness. “This fellow just looked back up in this weird way and just jumped off and did a somersault and yelled ‘yahoo!’ as he did it.”
He said other witnesses weren’t sure if the jumper would make it out of the water alive, and the ferry came to a stop as crews searched for the man.
“We were all looking down at the wake, at the water, and we were wondering if he was going to survive just because of the turbulence and where it is in the strait,” he said. “It’s lined by cliffs so it’d be hard to even get out.”
Vancouver resident Lorenzo Garcia said he witnessed the jump and overheard some of the man’s friends egging him on just before it happened.
“His friend who was with him, who was still standing by the staircase, was yelling 'Jump! Jump! Jump!' and I’m like, really? You’re going to be that stupid?” Garcia said.
BC Ferries said the man likely didn’t even touch the life raft and instead swam through the frigid waters of Active Pass.
As rescue boats from RCMP, search and rescue and the Coast Guard searched for him for about an hour, police got a call from a distressed Galiano Island resident.
She told them a naked, soaking and incoherent man entered her home and began to throw furniture and other items around her house, damaging it.
Police said she escaped to a neighbour’s home to call for help, and that’s when the man left her home and walked to a nearby resort where he broke into a cabin.
Officers surrounded the cabin and eventually took the man into custody without incident. He was transported to Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria, where his condition remains unknown.
RCMP said they’re recommending charges of break and enter, being unlawfully in a dwelling and mischief under $5,000.
BC Ferries, which will likely have to replace the life raft and pay thousands of dollars in overtime to employees, is expected to pursue charges of its own.
It’s not the first time the company has dealt with somebody jumping overboard.
In 2005, a man jumped into the water and swam to Mayne Island, saying it was because he was late for a baseball game. He was later fined $1,400 for the leap.