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Passing sailor rescues boy under capsized boat

AUG. 12 - A good Samaritan helped save a 3-year-old boy from a capsized boat last Saturday off British Columbia’s Gabriola Island.

Jerry Lushman was fishing with his son, Zachary, and wife, when a line became tangled in the boat’s propeller, a news report says. Lushman attempted to free the prop but waves washed up over the stern of the 16-1/2-foot boat, capsizing it and sending all three passengers into the water. All were reported to be wearing life jackets.

That’s when a crewman aboard a passing 12 Meter yacht jumped into the water and rescued Zachary, who was trapped underneath the overturned boat, the report says.

“He threw me a life jacket, and then he dived into the water and he went up under the boat,” Lushman says in the report. He knows of the rescuer only as Clayton.

“As soon as he put his hand up under the boat, my son was right there,” Lushman continues. “And he pulled him out.”

The adults said they couldn't reach the boy because they were not strong swimmers and their buoyant lifejackets prevented them from going far enough underwater to get to him, a Canadian Coast Guard spokesman told the press.

Coast Guard auxiliary officers took the three to shore where they were taken to Nanaimo General Hospital, the report says. They are all said to be uninjured and doing fine.

Jason Fell