Ten tourists were safely evacuated from the Island Roamer sailing ketch after its hull glanced an unmarked shoal near Windy Bay on Monday night.
No injuries were reported, and the passengers are currently headed to Sandspit on the Coast Guard ship Tanu.
A distress call went out from the Island Roamer just after 8 p.m. Monday night. Responders included the crew aboard the Cape Mudge, the lifeboat at the Sandspit Coast Guard station.
Randy Burke is president of Bluewater Adventures, which operates the vessel. He says the company appreciates the Coast Guard response.
“Right now everything seems stable — we just need to assess what the next step is,” said Burke.
With the Cape Mudge still on scene, Bluewater Adventures staff are now assessing the damage to the Island Roamer in a protected bay off Talunkwan Island.
Burke said it’s too early to tell how damaged the boat is, but it wasn’t on the shoal for long.
“It was a basically a glance, just a matter of seconds,” he said.
The Canadian Coast Guard is updating the oceanfloor charts in and around Gwaii Haanas with more detailed soundings. In some places, the existing charts still have little or no detail.
“On the west coast of the islands, there are various bays that have no delineation at all,” said Burke. “There are still unknown dangers out there.”
“Now that the passengers are safe, the next work is the safe and efficient return to service of the vessel.”
A 68-foot motor sailer with eight cabins, the Island Roamer first launched in 1983 and is a Coast Guard-certified boat that undergoes safety checks every year.