British Columbia·Video

Intense B.C. storm leads to dramatic rescues in White Rock, Maple Bay

A helicopter rescue was required to save a man from the White Rock pier Thursday after the dock broke apart in strong winds and powerful waves. On Vancouver Island, four people had to be saved from a houseboat adrift off Maple Bay.

Powerful storm has pounded southern British Columbia all day Thursday

Helicopter rescue on damaged White Rock pier

3 years ago
Duration 0:47
A person was airlifted to safety after getting stranded on a pier broken in two by a powerful storm.

The powerful storm that whipped through B.C.'s South Coast Thursday led to two dramatic rescues of people caught in trouble on the water.

In White Rock, a 42-year-old man had to be rescued by a Royal Canadian Air Force helicopter after he was trapped on the shattered White Rock pier.

Capt. Stu Robertson with the Victoria Joint Rescue Co-Ordination Centre, an agency of the Canadian Forces that co-ordinates air and sea rescues in B.C. and Yukon, said the man was rescued at about 3:35 p.m. PT by a helicopter from 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron based in Comox.

White Rock RCMP Cont. Chantelle Sears said police were notified of the situation at approximately 2 p.m. PT Thursday.

White Rock RCMP and the fire department responded to the city's pier where a person was trapped on the dock (Laura Hewitt)

"Due to the winds, the pier has broken apart," Sears said. "There's one person that is going to need rescuing off of it."

The pier is on Semiahmoo Bay in the 15000 block of Marine Drive.

Social media video from the scene showed the helicopter hovering over the pier at 3:30 p.m.

Social media videos from the scene also showed the jetty rocking violently in the waves prior to the rescue.

"The pier and the dock was just totally overtaken with waves," said White Rock resident Melanie McIntosh, who walked down to the pier after an appointment.

"The dock and the moorings where the sail boats usually are, they are just gone. All the boats are just leaned up against the pier all the way down to the railway tracks."

The City of White Rock is now pleading with people to stay away from the destroyed pier as pieces of debris continue to wash up on shore.

4 rescued in Maple Bay

The powerful windstorm whipped through southern B.C. for much of Thursday. Weather warnings were issued for many regions of the province, including on Vancouver Island.

In the waters off the island community of Maple Bay, northeast of Duncan, four people had to be rescued from a houseboat that went adrift in the treacherous weather.

The JRCC said another boat came to the aid of the four people and took them off the boat.

With files from Rafferty Baker, Jesse Johnston and Jodi Muzylowski


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