1. #1
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    Thumbs up Kuul Rescue Story

    Shipwrecked sailor ate lichen to survive Vancouver Island wilderness

    By Richard Watts, Victoria Times Colonist March 4, 2010

    VICTORIA — A shipwrecked American sailor was plucked off the rugged shores of the west coast of Vancouver Island Wednesday ending a five-day wilderness ordeal eating nothing but lichen.

    Keith Carver, 56, of Tucson, Ariz., said he doesn’t think he would have lasted much more than one more day had he not been spotted waving his arms to attract the attention of “this beautiful helicopter.”

    “I just wanted to live, I just wanted to see my wife again and eat chocolate ice cream with her. I’m done with these kind of adventures,” said Carver.

    “It was more of an experience than I wanted to have,” he said in a telephone interview from Port McNeil and District Hospital.

    Carver said he and a friend first came up from Arizona in mid February to purchase a 40-foot cement sailboat in Anacortes, Wash., intending to sail south to Mexico. The two stopped in Port Angeles and Neah Bay for overnight stays before heading south.

    But after travelling only about 110 kilometres they found themselves facing huge storms pushing the boat north. The boat was tossed so severely at one point a screw driver flew across the cabin and embedded itself in a cork board.

    “It was like the God Neptune picked up this hull and decided to shake it around trying to shake these two Americans out of it,” said Carver.

    Somehow, and neither man knows exactly how, Carver’s friend broke his arm. So after four or five days the two pulled into Tahsis on Vancouver Island and someone volunteered to drive Carver’s friend to Campbell River where he could get help.

    Carver then set out alone and in one day of clear sailing reached the Strait of Juan de Fuca. But then storms came back and for days on end pushed him north again. {Ok, this is DUMB on his part}

    This time he decided to seek shelter in Port Alice. But before he made it his boat started to fall apart. By Friday night his rudder was wrecked and he could no longer steer the vessel and he decided to abandon his boat.

    Carver cut the lifeboat free, tossed in a backpack containing survival gear which almost immediately went missing, and he headed for shore.

    Facing mostly sheer rock, Carver said by some near miracle he paddled the life boat onto an isolated little pebble beach, only about five metres wide. {the west coast of Van Isl is NOT boat friendly at all.}

    Meanwhile, the storm had smashed his radio antenna so no distress call had gone out. But he had saved a GPS device and figured Port Alice was less than 20 kilometres away, an easy hike, he thought.

    Carver said he didn’t come close. “You’ve got some rugged country here.”

    “If you are losing strength you can’t make 20 yards in these primeval forests,” said Carver.

    So he headed back to the beach, hoping to find his wrecked boat and salvage some survival gear. But there was no sign. He built a big cross to make a signal and concentrated on living, drinking water from a stream and eating a few lichens.

    On Wednesday, chopper pilot Wayne Goodridge was ferrying a physician to remote communities.

    Goodridge happened to be flying low and spotted Carver waving his arms for help.

    Goodridge said it was impossible to land on that particular spot so he had to hover close and his passenger and the doctor performed the tricky operation of getting Carver onto the craft.

    Goodridge said Carver was clearly hypothermic and making little sense but he was alive.

    The chopper pilot said he thought Carver was lucky to have dressed himself in a wet suit, which kept him warm enough to survive the ordeal.

    But he also gave full credit to Carver, who he said managed to perform some masterful sailing, in tough conditions and then managed to keep himself alive.

    “It was more than just sailing. He showed just an incredible will to survive and make it here and then stay alive,” said Goodridge.

    “He definitely had some strong resolve,” he said.

    Victoria Times Colonist

    © Copyright (c) The Victoria Times Colonist

    StoryPhotos ( 1 )

    Keith Carver, left, with rescuer helicopter pilot Wayne Goodridge. They are at Port McNeill hospital. Carver was rescued off the rugged shores of the west coast of Vancouver Island March 2 ending a five-day wilderness ordeal eating nothing but lichen. Carver, 56, of Tucson, Arizona, said he doesn’t think he would have lasted much more than one more day had he not been spotted waving his arms to attract the attention of “this beautiful helicopter.”Photograph by: Wayne Goodridge, Wayne Goodridge
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    Is it just me, or does he look more like 86 than 56??!!
    September 11th - Never Forget

    I respect firefighters and emergency workers worldwide. Thank you for what you do.

    Sheri
    IACOJ CRUSTY CONVENTION CHAIR
    Honorary Flatlander

    RAY WAS HERE FIRST

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    Quote Originally Posted by RspctFrmCalgary View Post
    Is it just me, or does he look more like 86 than 56??!!
    Maybe it was the lichen.
    HAVE PLAN.............WILL TRAVEL

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    From one Tucsonan to another, congrats on surviving.

    Still, didnt quite make the best decisions.

    We here in AZ dont know how to handle water.

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    Shipwrecked man held by border officials

    By Richard Watts, Times Colonist March 6, 2010

    An American sailor who was rescued off the west coast of Vancouver Island five days after being shipwrecked has been detained by Canadian border officials.

    RCMP spokesman Corp. Darren Lagan said Keith Carver was picked up yesterday by members of the detachment in Port McNeill. Later that afternoon, the Canadian Border Services Agency took charge of him.

    An official with the Canadian Border Services Agency said Carver was in custody due to "criminal inadmissibility to Canada," but did not give details. He will continue to be detained until a hearing expected to be scheduled early next week. It was not specified where Carver was being held or where the hearing will take place.

    Lagan said a police investigation revealed Carver would likely have been denied entry into Canada had he gone through the proper border procedures. Since he failed to clear the proper channels, Carver was not deemed to be in Canada legally.

    Lagan also expressed suspicions about Carver's story that storms blew him north until his sailboat sank off the northwest coast of Vancouver Island.

    "He knew he was in Canadian waters," said Lagan. "This was not an accident that he blew up all the way from the U.S.-Canada border all the way to the northern tip of Vancouver Island.

    "That's quite a distance to go, not knowing where you are going."

    Carver told the Times Colonist Thursday evening -- one day after his rescue from the beach a few kilometres north of Brooks Peninsula -- that he was blown off course by storms.

    He said he was semi-retired and living in Tucson, Ariz., but came north to purchase a sailboat in Anacortes, Wash, in mid February. He and a pal intended to sail it south to Mexico. But violent storms blew him north and his pal broke his arm. So Carver pulled into Tahsis, where the injured friend got off.

    Tahsis Mayor Corrine Dahling said yesterday she remembers giving the injured friend a ride to Campbell River on Feb. 18, so he could catch a bus back to Spokane, Wash.

    Carver said he set out in the boat alone and had one day of clear sailing until the storms picked up and blew him north.

    He decided to seek shelter in Port Alice, but before he could make it, the boat started to break up. Carver said he abandoned his boat, a 40-foot cement-hulled vessel, before it sank. He got into a lifeboat and headed to shore, where he camped for five days, living on creek water and lichen before he was spotted by a helicopter.

    Mark Proulx, maritime co-ordinator at the Victoria Rescue Centre, casts doubt on Carver's story of stormy weather, however.

    Proulx said between Feb. 18, when Carver dropped off his friend in Tahsis, and Feb. 26, when he said he was shipwrecked, the wind conditions were almost too light for sailing, blowing as little as three knots on Feb. 19.

    The fastest winds recorded from a buoy off Tofino were 29 knots, easy sailing weather. And that was on Feb. 26, the day Carver said his vessel sank.

    rwatts@tc.canwest.com

    © Copyright (c) The Victoria Times Colonist

    ==

    Hmmm. I know Marc personally, having worked with him at the JRCC. If he says there's something fishy... then its probably "rotten".

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