Lighthouse Keepers at Chrome Key in Two Rescues – special reprint

Lighthouse Keepers at Chrome Key in Two Rescues – special reprint

The following article appeared in 2010 and I received permission to publish it here to show the work that lighthouse keepers do, but is not part of their job description.

This is why we need lighthouse keepers! Keep the lights manned!

Another Chrome Island rescue appeared here on my website.


Chrome Island - photo Leslie Williamson

Lighthouse keepers key in two rescues – with permission from Oceanside Star

Nelson Eddy, Special to the Star  – Published: Thursday, December 02, 2010

The Coast Guard Auxiliary Unit 59 in Deep Bay has rescued two mariners in the last two weeks. Both times the lighthouse keepers on Chrome Island were instrumental in expediting the rescue.

The first incident occurred Saturday, Nov. 20 between 12:10 p.m. and 3:50 p.m.

An individual was sailing from Hornby Island to Deep Bay in a 14-foot open sailboat. Just past Chrome Island, he became overwhelmed by the weather and took down his sail. In the process he became soaked and the boat took on water.

He made a cell phone call to his father, who in turn called the Coast Guard. Unit 59 was tasked to bring the mariner to safety.

He was found southeast of Chrome Island and was determined to be in the beginning stages of hypothermia. Unit 59 called for an ambulance and headed to Deep Bay, where the mariner was met by his father and treated by paramedics.

If he hadn’t had a cell phone, the story would have been very different.

The lighthouse keeper helped Unit 59 find the sailboat quickly and then aided in the recovery of the boat.

The second incident occurred Monday, Nov. 29 at 4:30 p.m. when the lighthouse keeper noticed a small runabout with its engine up drifting in the vicinity of Chrome Island.

They signalled the craft, which in turn signalled back that help was required.

Coast Guard Auxiliary Unit 59 was tasked to investigate the drifting boat.

They arrived within half an hour and learned that the mariner had engine trouble and had been drifting for over an hour.

He had only two flares on board, both of which didn’t work. His cell phone battery was dead and there was no one expecting him that evening, so he wouldn’t even be reported overdue.

Unit 59 towed him back to safety in Deep Bay. Again the lighthouse keeper proved invaluable in saving a life.

This mariner would have continued drifting unnoticed with severe consequences. The weather report for the following day was 80 km/h winds with accompanying heavy sea conditions.

Nelson Eddy is President of the Lighthouse Country Marine Rescue Society, and is based in Bowser.

© Oceanside Star 2010



The original article can be found here on the Oceanside Star website.  


Published by

Retired (2001) British Columbia lighthouse keeper after 32 years on the lights.

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