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UPDATE: P.E.I. couple commends fire department on speedy water rescue

Wade Martell of North Wiltshire maintained a calm demeanor after his boat “Escape” began taking on water. He's pictured here with his dog, Tugboat.
Wade Martell of North Wiltshire maintained a calm demeanor after his boat “Escape” began taking on water. He's pictured here with his dog, Tugboat.

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - Wade and Kim Martell were out on their boat enjoying the sunny weather Friday afternoon when it turned into an emergency situation.

The North Wiltshire couple had just sailed out of Peakes Wharf in their boat called “Escape” when they noticed their boat began slowing down within 20 minutes of being on the water.

“I just knew something was wrong,” said Wade. “It just wasn’t giving the power that it normally does.”

That was when Wade noticed the bilge pump was going and that their boat had blown a water hose.

Kim admits she was frightened when their boat began taking on water while they were in Holland’s Cove.  

“I panicked a little bit, I’m not going to lie, because you are out on water and you don’t want your boat sinking,” said Kim.

Even their 10-month-old-dog, Tugboat, was nervous when he saw water on the cabin floor.   

However, Wade maintained a calm demeanor in the emergency situation.

“He was very calm,” said Kim. “He knew exactly what to do, so I just sort of took his lead and acted like it was just another day on the water except we were going to have a nice little escort in.”

Wade says his training in safety for his job as a construction manager has taught him to stay calm in every situation.

“Even with Kim being frantic, you still have to stay calm,” said Wade.

“Panicking doesn’t do anything,” explained Wade. “If you get worked up when something happens it ends up being worse.”

The Charlottetown Fire Department guides P.E.I. couple, Wade and Kim Martell, safely back to shore after their boat began taking on water in the Charlottetown harbour yesterday afternoon.

The couple called 911 at around 2:35 p.m., and the Charlottetown Fire Department had a crew out on the water within 10 minutes.

“The response team did a really good job of getting here and I really appreciate that,” said Wade.

“I did feel a lot better when I saw the Charlottetown Fire Department coming,” said Kim.

A firefighter came on board and opened the door to the engine area and found that it was completely full of water.

“I’m surprised the engine kept going,” said Wade.

Wade and Kim were able to drive their boat back in to Peakes Wharf, but they were escorted by the Charlottetown Fire Department.  

Quartermaster Marines was quick on the scene and pulled their boat out of the water as a small crowd watched the emergency situation unfold.

“I think, technically, we probably could have made it in to the dock and got off but if Quartermaster Marine wasn’t here with the trailer the boat would have sank,” said Kim.

The couple has only been out on the boat about two dozen times since they bought it in the fall.

Wade said they are taking the boat to Quartermaster Marines to get fixed and plans to install an alarm system so they have warning in the instance this happens again.

Kim said she is feeling grateful that things turned out the way they did and for the help of the Charlottetown Fire Department.

“I’m fine,” said Kim. “The dog is off the boat, the boat is out of the water and I’m not wet so it’s all good.”

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