Port Hardy RCMP Cpl. Chris Voller received an Award of Valour at the 38th annual Police Honours Night at Government House, where in total 114 law enforcement members were recognized for their bravery and dedication.
Voller earned the award for jumping on board a moving fishing boat in order to gain control of it and assess the unresponsive operator.
Back in December of 2018, Port Hardy RCMP attended the local marina and were informed that the boat in question had since departed the bay area and was approximately four miles north of Port Hardy, still being operated erratically.
Thanks to assistance from the coast guard, two Port Hardy RCMP members were transported out to the fishing boat where they were able to observe a male seated at the helm, but he appeared to be slumped over and non-responsive. The coast guard unsuccessfully signalled the fishing boat with its horn in an effort to gain the operator’s attention. At this point the fishing boat was travelling quickly and continually turning to the right in a circle that appeared to be less than 200 metres in circumference. There was concern for the well-being of the operator as he was non-responsive and clearly not in control of the boat. A decision was made to board the still moving boat in order to bring it under control and ascertain the medical condition of those on board.
The coast guard ship came along side the fishing boat trying to match its speed and turning radius which proved difficult due to the large wake being put off.
The coast guard ship was able to get along side the fishing boat close enough to allow Voller and a coast guard member to jump aboard. Voller was able to safely remove the boat operator from the helm while the coast guard member brought the fishing boat under control.
“It takes a special kind of person to serve in law enforcement, those who know the dangers and challenges of their profession but remain committed to serve with pride and never shy away from their duty,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General.
He added the “honourees are examples of that commitment in action and on behalf of all British Columbians, we thank officers just like them all across the province for their immeasurable contributions to public safety.”