Coast Guard hovercraft hits sailboat during Salt Spring Island medevac mission – Castlegar News
No one was injured after a Canadian Coast Guard hovercraft struck part of an unattended sailboat in a Salt Spring Island port during a medevac mission Monday.
The incident occurred as the Siyay hovercraft was taking advanced paramedics to Ganges Port at around 5:45 p.m. on November 22, before transporting a patient to Vancouver.
A Coast Guard spokesperson said the vessel entered the harbor at eight knots and bypassed the area where unlit sailboats are traditionally anchored.
“Unfortunately, an unlit sailboat was anchored outside the common anchorage area and was not detected on the Siyay’s radar,” Coast Guard spokesman Kiri Westnedge said in a statement.
The ship’s captain performed an emergency maneuver to avoid direct contact with the sailboat, Westnedge said, but the starboard side of the hovercraft made contact with the boat’s bowsprit, protruding from its bow.
The hovercraft crew successfully completed the emergency transport to Vancouver. The sailboat was unattended at the time and Coast Guard officials are trying to locate its owner.
Meanwhile, damage to the hovercraft is being assessed and the station remains ready to respond to search and rescue missions, Westnedge said.
The 28.5-meter-long Siyay is one of four air cushion vehicles operated by the Coast Guard in Canada. It can reach speeds of 50 knots on water and can also travel on land, mudflats, shallow water, ice and other surfaces. Ships are used to access areas that are difficult to access by land and when land-based first responders cannot get to somewhere quickly or easily.
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Canadian Coast Guard Salt Spring Island