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Bad weather prompts reports of sinking boats

Better safe than sorry. View Royal firefighters Heath Bevan and Rob Marshall search Portage Inlet for a sinking boat on Tuesday, one of two false alarms this week.  - Edward Hill/News staff
Better safe than sorry. View Royal firefighters Heath Bevan and Rob Marshall search Portage Inlet for a sinking boat on Tuesday, one of two false alarms this week.
— image credit: Edward Hill/News staff

Reports of sinking boats in Portage Inlet Tuesday and off Coburg Peninsula Wednesday turned out to be much ado about nothing.

Just after 10 a.m. Tuesday, Saanich firefighters and police scanned the Portage waterway for people in the water the rocky shore on Murray Drive. At the same time View Royal Fire Rescue launched its rescue boat from Gorge Park, near Craigflower bridge.

Firefighters motored around the waterway for about 20 minutes to no avail — no boats or people were in sight.

After some investigation, it turns out someone on Murray Drive reported to 9-1-1 that a boat was capsizing, although that boat was empty and tethered to another boat motoring to the Gorge Waterway.

View Royal fire Chief Paul Hurst said both vessels made it safely to shore near Tillicum Road. “There were no souls onboard (the sinking boat),” he said.

On Wednesday, a report of a capsizing boat off Coburg beach drew a Colwood Fire Rescue crew, but it turned out to be a buoy overturned in choppy seas.

“It’s better to be safe than sorry” and call 9-1-1, noted Colwood bylaw officer Kevin Atkinson.

 

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