Search underway after emergency flares spotted off Victoria
A U.S. Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Air Station Port Angeles is seen in this undated file photo. (Twitter: USCGPacificNW)
VICTORIA -- An airborne search is underway off Victoria after a Washington state resident reported seeing emergency flares in the skies over the Strait of Juan de Fuca Thursday evening.
A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter was deployed from Port Angeles, Wash. at approximately 6 p.m. Thursday after a Sequim, Wash. resident reported three “meteor-type” flares over the strait, the U.S. Coast Guard told CTV News on Friday.
Finding nothing, searchers returned to the area in an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter Friday morning to continue scouring a large section of the water between Oak Bay, Victoria and Port Angeles.
“We obviously take this pretty seriously,” said U.S. Coast Guard petty officer Steve Strohmaier, who confirmed the search was ongoing Friday.
The Canadian Coast Guard was notified of the flare sighting on Thursday evening and a Canadian Coast Guard vessel was on scene Friday morning. The coast guard’s Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Victoria declined to comment on the operation.
The U.S. Coast Guard has asked boaters in the area to be on the lookout for any debris or vessels in distress in the area.