Skip to content

Boat explodes near Pender Harbour

A man and woman survived unscathed in a dinghy after the boat they were on caught fire and later exploded in the Pender Harbour area last Friday.

A man and woman survived unscathed in a dinghy after the boat they were on caught fire and later exploded in the Pender Harbour area last Friday. Coast Guard Auxiliary crews arrived from Halfmoon Bay, Pender Harbour and Powell River in response to a call that the 42-foot Bayliner was on fire in the Malaspina Strait near Whitestone and Harness islands. The two people on board issued a mayday and requested their friend in the area be contacted and then boarded their life raft. Coast Guard communicated with a passing airplane, which had the burning boat in sight. The friend was the first on scene and brought the two onto another boat. Shortly after the Coast Guard arrived, the Bayliner exploded several times before sinking. People on shore reported seeing the explosions, according to Coast Guard Pacific Unit 12 (Halfmoon Bay) spokesperson Kellei Bulmer.

The Coast Guard crews were not on the Bayliner during the explosions because, for safety reasons, members do not fight fires if there is not an immediate danger to people, according to a press release. Unit 61 in Pender Harbour received the call at 12:55 p.m. Dec. 30. The ordeal lasted three hours and 45 minutes, Bulmer said. At least 11 Coast Guard Auxiliary members were on the scene, she said.

"Most likely the fuel tanks were the cause of the explosions," Bulmer said in a press release. No one was injured.

Bulmer did not know the identity of the two survivors. The weather at the time was causing three-foot waves with northwesterly winds, Bulmer said.

push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks