A man was rescued by BC Ferries staff and the Nanaimo Harbour Patrol after his canoe capsized in Descano Bay on Gabriola Island Sunday.

Police said the man, who is in his 60s, was canoeing into the bay to check on his boat at anchor when the small vessel capsized.

At around 5 p.m., a woman heard a man yelling for help near the Gabriola Island Ferry Terminal, according to police.

The woman yelled to the man that help was on the way and called local officials. The man, who had been in the frigid waters for around 20 minutes, told her that he couldn’t hang on much longer.

BC Ferries staff, with the assistance of rescuers, immediately launched a boat and plucked the man from the icy waters.

He was taken to hospital and treated for hypothermia.

Police are reminding boaters to always wear a life jacket while out on the water, especially during the winter with colder temperatures and fewer people out in the water.