At about 6 p.m. on March 26, RCAF Cormorant helicopter rescued four individuals stranded on Lovekin Rock at Long Beach in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. Approach by boat to Lovekin was ruled too dangerous due to sea state, according to the JRCC Victoria. (Sophie L’Homme Photo)

Four stranded by surging seas on a rock off Tofino

Rescue chopper lifts a walker and three boogie boarders to safety after two hours at Long Beach

Four people spent about two hours trapped by surging seas on a large rock off Long Beach yesterday before being rescued unharmed by an air force chopper.

Three boogie boarders and walker who misjudged the tides were pulled off Lovekin Rock in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, south of Tofino at about 6 p.m., March 26, by an Royal Canadian Air Force Cormorant out of Comox.

“It’s a bit of a strange case,” Maritime Forces Pacific public affairs officer Lieut. Melissa Kia told the Westerly News.

“Originally, there were three walkers that went out to Lovekin Rock during the low tide, the tide came in and they couldn’t get off the rock. Two of them decided to swim to shore and the third person ruled that it was too risky,” she said.

Approach by boat to the rock was ruled too dangerous due to the state of the sea, and Canadian Coast Guard Tofino 1 rescue boat crews advised the stranded walker to remain in place while the RCAF helicopter arrived on scene, states a release issued by Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre (JRCC) Victoria.

“This is where the case takes a bit of a twist,” said Kia. “Apparently there were three boogie boarders in the area and they were also subsequently stranded due to the degrading sea conditions; so not able to jump off [Lovekin] because the waves crashing into it were much too big.”

The stranded walker and three boogie boarders awaited the arrival of the helicopter and all four of them were hoisted off the rock.

“Everybody was fine,” Kia said.

Kia encouraged beachgoers to check the tides and know the timings, adding JRCC Victoria responds to over 3,000 cases a year.

“While Mother Nature is beautiful, it can also turn. Just be aware of your surroundings and try to be as safe as possible,” she said.

Last year, there were two fatal accidents at Long Beach. Nijin John, a 24-year-old research student at the University of Victoria, was killed in a surfing accident on Feb.10 off Lovekin Rock. During the May Long weekend, an ocean accident off Long Beach claimed the life of 52-year old Ann Wittenberg, who was in town for her daughter’s wedding.

EDITORIAL: Restore the Surf Guard program at Long Beach

READ: Ucluelet paddle boarder calls for lifeguards on Long Beach after rescue at Lovekin Rock

Canadian Coast GuardSearch and RescueTofino,ucluelet

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Dr. Bonnie Henry given a Gitxsan name: ‘one who is calm among us’

The provincial health officer was honoured in a May 22 ceremony at elementary school in Hazelton

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Smithers woman awarded $55K in RCMP excessive force suit

Irene Joseph alleged false arrest and assault and battery related to a 2014 incident in Smithers

Cannabis shop soon to open in Witset

Indigenous Bloom shop to be followed by cannabis cultivation facility in closed down sawmill

Celebrations continue for Tsilhqot’in Nation after court victory against Taskeo Mines Ltd.

Supreme Court of Canada upholds 2014 decision rejecting New Prosperity mine on May 14, 2020

B.C. records no new COVID-19 deaths for the first time in weeks

Good news comes despite 11 new test-positive cases in B.C. in the past 24 hours

BC Corrections to expand list of eligible offenders for early release during pandemic

Non-violent offenders are being considered for early release through risk assessment process

Fraser Valley driver featured on ‘Highway Thru Hell’ TV show dies

Monkhouse died Sunday night of a heartattack, Jamie Davis towing confirmed

B.C. visitor centres get help with COVID-19 prevention measures

Destination B.C. gearing up for local, in-province tourism

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

36 soldiers test positive for COVID-19 after working in Ontario, Quebec care homes

Nearly 1,700 military members are working in long-term care homes overwhelmed by COVID-19

B.C. poison control sees spike in adults, children accidentally ingesting hand sanitizer

Hand sanitizer sales and usage have gone up sharply amid COVID-19 pandemic

Most Read