Drunk, boat spins circles

A fishing boat captain was asleep at the helm and his boat circling off Port Hardy when RCMP jumped aboard.

The dramatic intervention happened Nov. 29 off the northern Vancouver Island community.

“It was determined that the boat operator was grossly impaired and an open container of liquor was located nearby,” Staff Sgt. Wes Olsen told CTV News. “There was another male found sleeping in the hold of the fishing vessel who was intoxicated as well.”

The Port Hardy Marine Authority alerted police, saying the 10-metre vessel was being operated in an erratic manner. By the time police and the Coast Guard arrived, the boat was six kilometres offshore.

The man at the helm appeared to be "slumped over and non-responsive," said Olsen, and even a blast from the Coast Guard vessel's horn failed to rouse him.

Pulling alongside – still motoring in circles – a police officer and Coast Guard officer jumped aboard, determined the driver was impaired, and arrested him.

He faces charges of impaired operation of a vessel.

– with files from CTV Vancouver Island

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