Heroic swim saves sons

Three men are lucky to be alive after capsizing in Howe Sound on Thursday afternoon, and getting no help from others in the area.

Michael Forstved, was crabbing with his father, David, and brother, Jonathan, in a 14-foot aluminum boat when they began to take on water.

“I see the back of the boat start to go under water and then my dad says 'time to grab the life jackets, we're going to go in,’” 23 year-old Michael told CTV Vancouver.

While the men had safety gear on board, they had no flares to signal for help, although they say they went down in “2.5 seconds” and they would have been little help.

The trio held onto the overturned vessel and blew on their life jackets whistles, screaming for help trying in vain to get the attention of other mariners in the area.

David eventually swam two hours to shore, then climbed a cliff to the Sea to Sky Highway, where he tried to flag down motorists while dripping in his life jacket. No one stopped.

“At this point the kids, all I could envision is they’re in the water. Every second counts. They’ve been in there too long,” David told CTV.

He eventually ran to Porteau Cove and was able to call for help.

Meanwhile, his sons had made their own attempt at the shore and were spotted by two paddleboarders, who let them rest until rescuers arrived. Search and rescue credit the men’s life jackets with saving their lives.

The men remain rattled by the lack of help they received by other boaters at sea while they were going down.

“There were numerous boats all around, easily within earshot,” David told CTV.

with files from CTV Vancouver 

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