Boating tragedy averted at Nitinat Lake

Proper use of survival suits were instrumental in preventing a boating tragedy on Nitinat Lake, Saturday, July 9.

  • Jul. 18, 2011 8:00 a.m.

Cpl. Krista Hobday

Lake Cowichan RCMP

Proper use of survival suits were instrumental in preventing a boating tragedy on Nitinat Lake, Saturday, July 9.

All seven occupants of a 1979 29 foot aluminum boat were thrown overboard after the boat struck a rock face along the east side of Nitinat Lake.

They were all wearing their survival suits and were able to swim the three meters to shore.

They were subsequently brought on board a vessel that was travelling a few kilometers behind and taken to the reserve.

The occupants of the vessel were family and friends ranging in age from 9 to 56.

Some were treated for minor injuries including scrapes, bruising, and cuts, at Victoria General Hospital and Nanaimo Regional Hospital before being released.

There was no sign of the vessel from the air the next day and it is presumed sunk.

The investigation has led to the conclusion that the driver fell asleep.

Alcohol and drugs are not factors in this investigation and there will not be any charges.

The fact all of the passengers were in survival suits played a large part in only the vessel being lost.