Two divers have been found safe after their failure to surface sparked an extensive rescue operation on Saturday.
The divers — one experienced and one inexperienced — went into the water about 11:10 a.m. and were expected to surface near Race Rocks at noon.
At 12:30 p.m., the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre alerted search-and-rescue crews from Sooke and Victoria, a Royal Canadian Air Force Cormorant, the Canadian Coast Guard and West Shore RCMP to the incident.
Hoping the divers had drifted, the Sooke crew searched an area 0.5 nautical miles west of Race Rocks, according to a post on the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue – Station 37 Sooke’s Facebook page.
“One of our spotters who was using binoculars noticed something black and shiny at the surface of the water south-east of our position. We navigated the vessel towards the area and realized that we were spotting some harbour porpoises,” the post said.
While awaiting direction from the Coast Guard regarding which area to search next, the team once again spotted something in the distance.
“This time, it was a much larger object in the water. We quickly navigated to that area and located the two missing divers who were very happy to see us.”
The crew gave them a quick medical check and notified the rescue centre, the post said.
“Tired and relieved, they both appeared to be fine. … The other divers and their vessel met us on-scene and we passed the two individuals over to them.”
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