Sunday wasn't just business as usual for B.C.'s popular ferry service. On Sunday, June 28, BC Ferries assisted a local search-and-rescue effort to save three stranded boaters in the Strait of Georgia. Two BC Ferries vessels were delayed as a result.
At 5:36 p.m., the company tweeted about the issue, saying, "BCFHeadsup QueenofOakBay & QueenofCowichan assisting in a marine rescue. More info to come."
According to Victoria News, the Queen Of Cowichan was heading to Nanaimo from Horseshoe Bay whereas the Queen Of Oak Bay was sailing in the opposite route, from Nanaimo to Horseshoe Bay.
Victoria News reported that a boat flipped over in the Strait of Georgia around 4 p.m. BC Ferries told the outlet that it was a "21-foot pleasure craft" that overturned near Halibut Banks.
Although two ferries did take part in the rescue operations, neither had to release their rescue boats. Eventually, the rescue was carried out by members of the Canadian Coast Guard.
CBC News reported that there were three boaters on the overturned craft.
A passenger on BC Ferries, Dan Rennie, spoke to Narcity and explained how the vessel got involved.
"Passengers were asked to assist in trying to spot the vessel. It was described as a yellow 21ft Bayliner," he said.
He said that there was a "nervous energy" as passengers rushed to try and see what they could.
"I was on the off side when they first spotted the boat. As we approached you could see it floating upside down with what appeared to be three people sitting on top of it," he explained.
Rennie uploaded a short clip of the boat on Twitter as it was overturned on water.
@BCFerries https://t.co/YBbwHZcbTS— denim clad dad (@denim clad dad)1593389094.0
The eyewitness said that the three boaters were pulled onto an orange zodiac and then transported over to the ferry. The whole crowd gathered on the sun deck for a round of applause to the crew, he said.
One of the boaters even waved to the crowd and said, "thank you."
The boaters waited in the ferry before the Coast Guard arrived. "They transferred the people to the coast guard ship and then not long after that we started towards Horseshoe Bay again," he said.
BC Ferries was highly active on Twitter as it was notifying its passengers of delays caused by its involvement in the rescue operation.
@italreadyisss @italreadyisss The last update I have received was at 4:43 pm stating that the #QueenofOakBay was de… https://t.co/5bdnSdrdAO— BC Ferries | Essential Travel Only. Mask Up. (@BC Ferries | Essential Travel Only. Mask Up.)1593389972.0
#ServiceNotice #HorseshoeBay - #DepartureBay #QueenOfCowichan is operating 80 minutes behind schedule. You can read… https://t.co/i3REWTaz5G— BC Ferries | Essential Travel Only. Mask Up. (@BC Ferries | Essential Travel Only. Mask Up.)1593395124.0
Rennie said that there were "already many delays" before they even left Departure Bay. "However we did stray pretty far off course," he added.
Narcity has reached out to BC Ferries for comment and we will update this article when we have a response.