B.C. Ferries jumper who deployed lifeboat could face $40,000 bill

Dec 19 2017, 6:26 pm

The man who deployed a lifeboat and jumped off B.C. Ferries’ Coastal Celebration vessel last week could be facing a very hefty fine. As much as $40,000, to be more precise.

“We are looking to see if there are avenues to recover the costs of the incident,” Deborah Marshall told Vancity Buzz. “The cost is for the repair of the damaged life raft, outfitting the vessel with the replacement life raft, the overtime pay for the crews on the two vessels that were involved in the search and rescue, and the extra fuel that was consumed as a result.”

These are only B.C. Ferries’ costs and do not include extra costs incurred by the RCMP, Coast Guard, and Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue (RCM SAR). The man was later found on Galiano Island, a short distance away from the ferry vessel he was traveling on.

“There have been very rare incidents of people jumping overboard, but to my knowledge nobody has ever deployed a life raft as well,” Marshall added.

The incident occurred on the evening of Wednesday, November 4 when the vessel was traveling through the Active Pass on the Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay route. It prompted a major search and rescue operation involving the Coastal Celebration, B.C. Ferries’ vessel Spirit of British Columbia, RCMP, the Canadian Coast Guard, and the RCM SAR.

Shortly after the initial call for rescue, police responded to reports on Galiano Island of a naked man who had just entered a residence. He was apparently soaked, incoherent, and not responding.

According to RCMP, it is alleged that he began to throw furniture and other items around the home causing damage. The lone female resident escaped her home without injury, fleeing to a neighbour to call for help.

The male then walked to a nearby resort and intruded into one of the cabins. He was later arrested by police, with the help of police dogs, and taken to Royal Jubilee Hosptial for assessment.

Police are recommending charges for break and enter, unlawfully in a dwelling, and mischief under $5,000. Additional charges will also be pursued by B.C. Ferries as federal law maintains that tampering with life saving equipment on a vessel is a punishable offence.

DH Vancouver StaffDH Vancouver Staff

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