Two daytrippers had to be rescued from Steveston Island (also known as Shady Island) on Canada Day after they got stranded by the rapidly changing tide.
Around 1: 30 p.m. the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue (RCMSAR) vessel Jimmy Ng and the Richmond RCMP's Fraser Guardian, which were on patrol for the Ships to Shore Festival, got a call about two people marooned on the island.
Apparently, the pair had walked over the rock wall at low tide and then had no way out when the tide completely covered their path back.
Fortunately, some locals saw the stranded visitors and reported it to Richmond Fire Rescue (RFR), who then alerted the other emergency services.
Both vessels responded and found the two people on the far eastern end of the island.
"The Jimmy Ng took two RFR swift water rescue members on board, transited the fast moving rising tide, and transferred them onto the island," said Brian Hobbs, RCMSAR coxswain.
"Once on the island, RFR members assisted the visitors over the slippery rocks, safely transferring them onto the RCMSAR vessel.
Rescued parties were then safely transferred back shore side and checked out by RFR crews."
Hobbs said this type of incident and subsequent rescue happens "fairly often" with people walking across to Steveston Island at low tide and then getting trapped, sometimes with deadly consequences.
"People have been swept off by the tide and died," Hobbs said.
"The tide rises and falls over a six-hour cycle, but it can cover up (the path over the rocks) in just a couple of hours."
The incident on Sunday, Hobbs added, highlighted the "effectiveness of Richmond's emergency services, with our professional and volunteer services serving side by side."
Hobbs wanted to remind everyone that the Fraser River has extremely powerful currents and fast rising tides.
"Always call 911 if you find yourself in trouble and keep safety in mind when venturing near Richmond's waterways," he added.