Police are thanking Kyuquot residents for their quick response to a boat crash that could have resulted in more serious injuries without the prompt attention it received in the remote community.
The crash occurred on the evening of July 13, when a commercial sports fishing boat ran aground on rocks near Kyuquot. The boat is registered to one of the area’s charter fishing resorts, but no guests were aboard, said the Port McNeill RCMP.
Three people were treated for minor injuries at a medical facility in the area.
“The Port McNeill RCMP would like to thank the local residents for the quick and timely response to this incident,” said Corp. Spencer Mylymok. “Their efforts contributed to a safe outcome to what could have been a tragic incident.”
“The vessel occupants were resort personnel, along with one of their friends,” stated a media release issued by the detachment. “RCMP West Coast Marine Services will be assisting the Port McNeill RCMP with the investigation, with involvement of Transport Canada and WorkSafe BC.”
“We believe speed may have played a factor in the collision,” said Mylymok, adding that police couldn’t begin their investigation until they were informed the following day. “We weren’t actually advised until almost 24 hours later, which makes it a bit challenging.”
Kyuquot is home to approximately 200 people, most of whom are members of the Ka:'yu:'k't'h'/Che:k'tles7et'h' First Nations. With its remote location on the west coast of Vancouver Island, the closest hospital is a 20-kilometre boat ride to Fair Harbour, then a 118-kilometre drive across the island’s north to Port McNeill. The closest Canadian Coast Guard station is in Tahsis, a 50-plus-kilometre boat trip down the coast.
Neither BC Emergency Health Services nor the coast guard were notified, as Kyuquot residents took care of the injuries.
“Although it’s remote, it’s a very tight-knit community, so there were people who actually heard the collision,” said Mylymok. “Then some local residents took their own vessel out there and basically transported the individuals to the local medical facility.”
The Port McNeill RCMP is asking anyone with information about this incident to contact the detachment at 250-956-4441.