'Out of nowhere he just jumped': Man rescued after going overboard on BC Ferries vessel
Rescue vessels are seen Thursday morning after a man went overboard on BC Ferries vessel: (Janet Marchinko)
VICTORIA -- A man was rescued after going over the side of a BC Ferries vessel Thursday.
According to Maritime Forces Pacific (MARPAC), a rescue call went out from the BC Ferries Coastal Inspiration ship at roughly 11:28 a.m.
Multiple boats responded to the call, including the ferry’s onboard lifeboat, a nearby pleasure craft and a coast guard hovercraft, called the Siyay.
By 11:41 a.m., the man had been recovered, according to MARPAC.
According to BC Ferries, the pleasure craft was the first to reach the man and brought him aboard the vessel.
The man was later transferred to the BC Ferries rescue boat, and then to the hovercraft. The Siyay left the scene at approximately 12:10 p.m., says BC Ferries.
The ferry service confirms the man went overboard from the vessel's top deck.
One passenger aboard the ship told CTV News that the man may have jumped off the ferry intentionally.
"The guy was sitting at the back part of the boat right up top smoking a cigarette and out of nowhere he just jumped off the side and went in the water," said George Marchinko, who adds that some of the details were provided to him from other passengers of the ship.
"We had to turn back and rescue him," he said.
Marchinko says that BC Ferries staff responded to the incident quickly as soon as they heard a man went overboard.
"BC Ferries did a good job getting the guy, that’s for sure," he said.
As of roughly 12:45 p.m., passengers on the ferry said the vessel had still not docked at the Tsawwassen ferry terminal.
Marchinko says that despite a delay, everyone is "just glad" the man was rescued.
While the incident was taking place, a nearby BC Ferries vessel, the Queen of Alberni, stopped at the scene in case its assistance was needed.
The stop left both ships running behind schedule, according to BC Ferries.
The overboard incident occurred roughly 20 kilometres northwest of the Tsawwassen ferry terminal on the 10:15 a.m. sailing from Duke Point to Tsawwassen.