Nine people rescued after fibreglass boat capsizes near Graves Island

by Keith Corcoran

Fishers aboard at least one vessel plucked five children and four adults from waters off Graves Island after the group's 4.3-metre fibreglass boat capsized July 12 in East Chester.

The watercraft with an outboard motor overturned in the vicinity of the island, which is home to a provincial park.

"All were wearing lifejackets," Maj. Mark Gough, of Maritime Forces Atlantic, told LighthouseNOW about the rescued group of nine. The estimated water depth in the area of the overturned boat was 18-metres, Gough said.

RCMP and the rescue coordination centre operated by Canadian Coast Guard and Royal Canadian Air Force were mobilized after a 911 call at 2:40 p.m. from one of the passengers of the overturned boat.

"The 911 caller indicated that a wave had capsized their boat," Gough said.

A rescue boat was requested from the Chester volunteer fire department, while paramedics in about five ground ambulances - in addition to 'medics in the air ambulance helicopter - were dispatched to the scene. Some of those resources were called off once paramedics were made aware of additional details of the incident.

"There were a couple of fishing boats in the area when the fibreglass boat capsized and they were able to recover the nine people by about 2:50 p.m.," Gough explained. "They were brought safely ashore on Graves Island and one of the fishing boats was able to recover the fibreglass boat and engine and bring them to shore as well."

Hospitals in several communities, including those in Halifax and Annapolis Valley, were told of the potential of patients arriving at those locations from the incident.

Gough and Sgt. Andrew Joyce, a spokesman for the province's RCMP, said there were no apparent injuries.

"Thankfully, it all ended as well as it could," Gough commented.

There won't be any charges resulting from the incident, Joyce said.

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