A large plume of smoke was spotted by the North Saanich marina on Sunday afternoon. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

A large plume of smoke was spotted by the North Saanich marina on Sunday afternoon. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

UPDATED: One fatality at large fire at Vancouver Island marina

One boat has sunk, nearby resident says they heard an explosion ‘sounding like a cannon’

UPDATE: Authorities confirmed one fatality in Sunday’s North Saanich Marina fire.

Click here for updated article.


Ambulance crews carried two patients to hospital following a large fire at North Saanich marina on Sunday afternoon just before 4 p.m. that destroyed multiple vessels and a fuel dock.

Sarah Morris, media relations with BC Emergency Health Services, said the scene remains active and directed any questions about a reported fatality at the scene to police and BC Coroners Service. The Peninsula News Review has contacted those offices and will update the story accordingly.

Morris said BC Emergency Health Services received a call at around 3:54 pm for reports of an explosion at the North Saanich Marina. “Six ambulances were dispatched to the scene,” she said. “Paramedics have cared for two patient and transported them to hospital. The scene remains active, with the coast guard, fire, police and five ambulances still at the scene.”

Cpl. Chris Manseau of the RCMP said just before 7 p.m. Sunday night that it is too early to tell what caused the incident. He said additional specialized investigators will be on scene tomorrow and he could not give any additional updates on a reported fatality. “More information should be forthcoming tomorrow,” he said.

North Saanich resident Daria Wynder Muirhead said she was on a Mother’s Day drive when she heard the explosion. Another nearby resident heard the explosion from her home.

“It sounded like a cannon dropped on our roof,” said North Saanich resident Donna Timms. “We came running outside and could see a bit of the fire at the dock and within 10 minutes it was fully ablaze. It was such a mess to see.”

Currently, there is an unconfirmed report of a boat hitting a fuel barge.

More info to come.

READ MORE: Two firefighters injured in late Thursday night fire in Central Saanich

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