Wednesday, March 22, 2006

b.c. ferry sinks


Having ridden them tens of times, it’s hard to imagine one of these sinking out of sight within an after hitting a rock. But that's what happened between 12:25 and 1:30-ish this morning on the ferry run between Prince Rupert and Port Hardy.

Survivors had nothing but praise for the ferry crew who, by all descriptions were the picture of calmness and efficiency as they banged on the door of each room to rouse the sleepers, then got them into lifejackets and boats.

Kudos too to the people of Hartley Bay, a coastal village, who came at the first mayday call in all kinds of boats to help in the rescue – and then took the survivors back to town, to dry clothes, warm drinks and a place to sleep.

Westgarth said everyone in the community pitched in to provide help.

"They just all got together, they organized this thing without one person in charge," he said.

"To see all these people, taking them off the boats, putting warm blankets on them, giving them shoes, clothes, jackets, walking them right up to the cultural centre, giving them hot chocolate, coffee, sandwiches, everything."

Of the 101 people on the boat, 99 are accounted for. I hope the two that are still missing are quickly found.

National Post story

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