A resident of Qualicum Beach, British Columbia and BC Ferries captain, Randal Warnock was on his way to captain a ferry run when he decided to take a break and stretch his legs on a remote beach north of Vancouver Island.
Just north of the Cape Caution area, Warnock anchored his boat and began to stroll down the beach when he spotted an old buoy he was interested in reusing. As he looked up after picking up the discarded piece of maritime regalia, he was faced with a fast-moving adversary.
“I turn around and like a foot away from where I picked up the buoy, a grizzly bear charged out of the bush, full bore, straight at me, and was on me within a couple of seconds,” Warnock told the Surrey Now-Leader.
“First thing I thought was, ‘Ah shit, is this how it’s all going to end?’”
The juvenile bear wasted no time getting a firm grip on Warnock’s left leg, shaking him as violently as the sea was rough that day.
“I’m yelling and screaming at him (then I) remembered I had a knife. I’ve got to protect myself somehow and fight back, so I pull my knife out but I was off balance, he was shaking me. I dropped the knife.”
With his knife out of reach, Warnock clenched his fist, bit his lip and let the attacking bear have it. Punching the animal as hard as he could in the nose, the bear instantly paused. Rearing up and preparing for another attack, Warnock reached behind him and launched a log at the animal, which landed in between the two foes.
That was enough for the bear, as it turned and ran in the opposite direction.
Without any radio reception in the remote area, Warnock returned to his skiff and treated the wound sustained as best as he could. It took him roughly 60 minutes before he was able to obtain radio signal and call for help from the Victoria Coast Guard.
At around 9 p.m., Coast Guard officials met Warnock and his vessel, three hours after the initial attack. By 3 a.m. the following morning, Warnock was stitched up and is expected to make a full recovery.