Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Gig Harbor, WA
Thanked 7 Times in 5 Posts
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As long as we are thanking the Canadian Coast Guard...
In 2006 my folks were anchored in their Catalina 36 in Telegraph Harbour in BC. Telegraph Harbour is just off the Strait of Georgia between Kuper and Hudson Islands. After taking a photo of the anchorage, my 74 year old father came down below to eat dinner on a Saturday night.
When he came down below, he suffered a stroke, resulting in motor loss of one side and loss of speech. My Mom gave him some aspirin and called a Mayday on Channel 16. A CA Coast Guard axillary was dispatched from Ladysmith Harbour and were there in about 45 minutes. In the mean time, another couple in the anchorage who happened to anchoring nearby came over in their dinghy. They were an ER doc and ER nurse. They couldn't do much, but did help.
When the CG arrived they helped my dad onto their boat (he could still walk with assistance) and took my folks into Ladysmith where an ambulance met them to take them to the regional hospital in Nanaimo. As my mom was getting into the ambulance, one of the CG auxiliary guys (different than our CG Auxilary, these seem to be more like CG reservists, similar to a volunteer fire dept) gave my mom his business card and told her to call if she needed any help. My Dad died two days later due to cerebral hemorrhage.
We then were faced with the death of husband, father, grandfather, as well as my business partner along with our boat sitting at anchor in Canada. I called the guy who gave my mom his card a week later and explained the situation. He and some of his CG buddies, on their own time, took one of their personal boats out to Telegraph and towed the Catalina 36 back to Ladysmith where they put the boat to bed and arraigned for some temporary dockspace. It takes a LONG time to tow a 36 foot sailboat that far.
My Mom, sister and I flew up to Nanaimo a couple weeks later and brought the boat back to Tacoma.
The Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary guys were very professional and extremely helpful. They went above and beyond to help out a 72 year old woman and here family in a tough spot. Yeah, pretty much all the rumors you hear about the Canucks being terminal nice folks are very true.
BTW, my Mom was perfectly capable of single-handing the boat if need be, but getting my Dad to the hospital fast was a priority.
S/V Legacy, Catalina 400 MkII, Hull #328
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