Ferry's Rescue Boat Tows Skiff to Shelter in Lama Passage
January 22, 2005
At about 2:15 p.m. on Saturday, January 15, the crew of the Malaspina observed a flare fired from an open skiff approximately 2 miles ahead of the ferry in Lama Passage, approximately four miles south of Bella Bella, British Columbia. The Malaspina crew launched a fast rescue boat, which proceeded to the skiff. The Malaspina crew notified the Canadian Coast Guard at Prince Rupert of the situation, which also dispatched a rescue boat from Bella Bella. The ferry's rescue boat crew had the skiff in tow within minutes to a sheltered area behind Walker Island, where it was handed over to the Coast Guard boat crew. In all, the operation took about 40 minutes, after which the Malaspina was released to proceed on its voyage to Ketchikan.
"We were just happy we were there at the right time to provide assistance," said Captain Larry Sackett, the Malaspina's master on duty at the time. "The waters of the Inside Passage can be deadly, so it is the duty of mariners to offer assistance. Fortunately, this time, wind and weather were not difficult, so everything went well."
The Malaspina makes
a weekly round-trip voyage between Bellingham, Washington and
ports throughout Southeast Alaska.
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