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General News · 29th October 2017
Ron Lund
we recently sailed from cortes island to victoria in three days, all good but for running over 2 two active fishing nets. we were sailing along newcastle island by naniamo. all of the sudden there were fishing boats as far as the eye could see and every one of them had a huge net strung out across our path. it was stormy and we couldnt see the floats that mark the nets. the first net caught on our keel. it took an hour of floating and fighting the ropes and net. the fisherman signaled for us to cut the net and lines but that was not so easy to do in the stormy seas. i lowered a spare anchor into the net hoping to push the net below our keel. that didnt work but caused more tangle. it didnt help the fisherman was chinese and didnt speak a word of english, that may be why he didnt hail us on channel 16 to warn us. also he wasnt even near his net so his boat didnt mark where his net was. as we were tangled we drifted near to other fishing nets. most the fishermen pulled up their nets around us to clear a path as we drifted near them. the nets were full of big salmon and i could see them dead in the nets under us. one fisherman didnt get his nets up fast enough and we crossed his net too. by this time we had cut off the first net but we still had about 10 meters tangled in our keel. we were so distressed we called the coast guard to see if anyone could help, no one did. but the good news is the second net did not get caught on our keel but the fish in what was left of the first net got tangled in the second net even though our boat did not. the second net pulled the first net from our hull and we drifted free! we tried the motor and found the prop was free too. we were happy for days nothing worse happened. the fishermen just went back to their nets and we never heard from them again.