Wrecked Boat on the Rocks Below My Property

Text by Myrna Kerr; Photos by Mike Manson

A boat did a PanPan (“Possible Assistance Needed”) call at 4 AM on January 26, but the contact was not clear. So the Air Sea Rescue Helicopter went out looking for it.  The Sailboat was on the rocks below my house and, of course, out of sight even if it had lights on.

I was getting up just before 5 AM. No lights in my house were on, but suddenly a red flash of light came into my bedroom. I walked into my living room in the dark, and there was another flash of red. I could not see anything outside, so I presumed a UFO had gone by.

(The ‘flash of red’ Myrna saw was probably a distress flare – photo below.)

Later a large yellow noisy helicopter(1) arrived and hung in front of my house.  I suspected it was a realtor, or an American having a look at the property to buy, so I went out on my deck and gave it a good five minute finger salute.  Fortunately I was dressed, had it arrived earlier I would have been naked – which is how I sleep!

Much later that morning, talking of this outrage to a friend, I found out that the yellow helicopter is a Rescue Helicopter.  Then learned about the sail boat wrecked on the rocks below my house!

(Editor’s note – After hours of exposure to the elements overnight, the sailor needed shelter and at daylight saw a house.)

To carry on with the story, a man from the sail boat walked along the rocks and climbed up the bank next door. They have a switchback trail with a knotted rope.  He broke a window of the house, crawled through and cut himself somewhat. Someone, I presume, called the police, who must have alerted the helicopter. It moved to the back of my house hovering over the road, which infuriated me even more of course!

But of course the story is not complete, as no Cortes story ever is. No one seems to know who the man in the sailboat is! According to Cortes chatter,  he was bandaged up then walked out of the Hospital(2) and disappeared.  The sailboat was owned by someone local who had sold it.

Top image credit: A trimaran on the rocks – Mike Manson photo


  1. From Myrna’s report that the helicopter was yellow and a neighbour’s reference to police saying the helicopter was ‘from Comox,’ it may be from the 442 Transport Rescue Squadron of the  Royal Canadian Air Force based at Comox – editor
  2. Myrna did not know which hospital. A source close to the boat owner said he was taken to the ‘Courtenay Hospital.’ (North Island Hospital at 101 Lerwick Rd in Courtenay?) – editor.