Darkness settled too quickly for a pair of picnickers on Discovery Island last Saturday.
Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre called in the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue Station 33 in Oak Bay with a report of a man missing on Discovery Island.
“A lady and her husband had gone out from Oak Bay Marina to Discovery Island and had a picnic on the island,” said Ed Walker, station leader at RCM-SAR Station 33 in Oak Bay.
The man went for a walk with the dog but then darkness settled.
“He got turned around and he wound up on the north side of the island … in the dark.”
The wife headed back for the marina and met up with the Oak Bay’s RCM-SAR team.
“We talked to her and took her to the rescue station so she could show us exactly where they had been,” Watson said.
The RCM-SAR team started at Rudlin Bay, initiating the search from the east end of the beach, the missing man’s last known position.
“Partway into the search the navy provided a helicopter and they started searching using search lights and infrared,” Watson said.
The man was found on the beach by both teams.
“He had done a couple things right. He had turned his coat inside out so that the light lining showed, it helped him to be seen in the dark,” Watson said. “He went to the last known spot and he stayed there instead of thrashing around, it made him fairly easy to find.”
The entire incident took just over an hour.
“It was the kind of incident you like,” Walker said. “There’s a feeling of accomplishment when you’re finished and you know you’ve helped people.”