Canadian Coast Guard hovercraft Siyay visited Alberni Inlet on September 15, drawing a crowd along the Somass River.
The hovercraft was in the waters of the Alberni Valley to replace the navigation buoys in the river. Once they left the waters of Port Alberni, they returned to Ucluelet, before circling the southern end of Vancouver Island and returning to their home port at Sea Island in Richmond, in British Columbia.
The Siyay is 29 meters long and 12 meters wide, which is not common in the waters of western Vancouver Island. The Siyay has a maximum speed of 50 knots, but it was not operating at that speed on the Somass.
Launched in 1998, the Siyay (Salish word for “friend”) is used for rescues as well as to replace buoys and navigation lights. Part of its construction includes a crane that crews use to lift buoys for inspection and replacement.
Alberni ValleyCanadian Coast GuardPort Alberni