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Man dead after boat driven into Bare Point log boom

An after-dark boat ride turned disastrous after this craft hit a boom, killing a 33-year-old man. - Peter Luckham
An after-dark boat ride turned disastrous after this craft hit a boom, killing a 33-year-old man.
— image credit: Peter Luckham

A boat’s collision with a log boom off Bare Point has claimed the life of a Ladysmith man, and injured two others.

David Ryan Pringle, 33, was killed Friday when the 15-foot recreational powerboat he was driving hit a log boom while returning from Tent Island.

The force of the impact sent the boat airborne, dumping Pringle and his two 25-year-old male passengers onto the boom.

Duncan/North Cowichan RCMP were called to the scene shortly after 11 p.m., although it’s possible the collision occurred earlier but wasn’t immediately reported.

RCMP, B.C. Ambulance paramedics and Ladysmith Auxiliary Coast Guard all responded to the call, along with the RCMP’s West Coast Marine Service.

The two passengers were transported via ambulance to Cowichan District Hospital with serious but non-life threatening injuries.

The marine service, meanwhile, is now working with Transport Canada’s safety board to assess the collision under guidelines such as the Canada Shipping Act and small vessel regulations.

“And of course we’re still following up with issues such as the speed of the vessel, whether or not alcohol was involved, what the visibility was like, if the boat had navigational lights, things like that,” said Staff Sgt. Jack MacNeill.

But no matter what the crash’s factors turn out to be, MacNeill hopes the tragedy serves as a reminder to boaters to be cautious on the water.

“There’s a lesson there for people,” he said.

“There are deadheads and logs and all kinds of obstructions out there at all times that you never have any advance warning of, and people just have to be careful.”

Peter Luckham, a Thetis Island resident who travels the Stuart Channel frequently, agreed.

He was at the scene of the crash on Saturday morning and snapped some photos of the boat, still on the log boom, with his cellphone.

“I think what’s really key is for people to pay due care and attention,” he said. “I don’t want to say anything about the individuals involved (in this particular crash) because I don’t know what happened… but it’s summertime and there’s lots of good times to be had on the water, and hopefully people can enjoy that — but be safe. Boat safety is paramount.”

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