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Hartley Bay first responder recalls efforts to save Queen of the North passengers

Hartley Bay first responder recalls efforts to save Queen of the North passengers

An RCMP patrol boat has arrived in Tofino, as the Mounties take over the search for the person missing and presumed drowned following yesterday’s sinking of a large whale-watching vessel.

The Vancouver Island RCMP dive team is also due this afternoon in the small west coast Vancouver Island community.

Members of the Ahousaht First Nation returned to the scene, 15km northwest of Tofino, at sunrise this morning after leading rescue efforts with a flotilla of private fishing boats as the tragedy unfolded.

When the Queen of the North sank in 2006, the community of Hartley Bay was at the centre of the rescue operation.

Edward Robinson Sr. was there that night when the call came in for help.

He says there was no hesitation to answer the call.

Reports have come out that whale watching passengers suffering from hypothermia were warmed up in local homes as they waited for help.

Robinson recalls the whole community of Hartley Bay pitched in that night.

Many have hailed those who went out that night as heroes, though he says everyone is humble about what they did.

He has a message to the people who are still out there on the water continuing the search effort.

Community health nurses are now travelling to Ahousaht to help shocked members of that community deal with the tragedy.

About Gene Law

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