By Chloe Ristow
Last week, ferry captain Randal Warnock decided to dock his fishing boat on Brown’s Island, B.C., after six hours of manoeuvring rough waters. Wanting to stretch his legs, he was walking around for about 15 minutes when he got the scare of his life.
“I heard a noise behind me, like a cracking sound out of the bush, and this bear was charging full bore out of the bush and was on me in a couple of seconds,” Warnock told the National Post.
The grizzly went for his right leg, shredding his jeans and clamping down on his knee.
“I tried to grab my knife out of my back pocket to hit him in the head or something or fend him off, but I dropped my knife because I was being shaken off balance.”
Summoning his strength, Warnock punched the bear in the nose with as much force as he could muster.
“He let go and stood back two feet, just looking at my legs. He seemed high on adrenalin. It was like a video on high speed, it was just so amazingly fast,” Warnock said. “His head was bobbing around and he looked like he was going to lunge at me. I grabbed a log and was going to throw it at his head but it slipped out and landed between us and then he just turned around and ran off into the bush.”
He made it back to his boat and was able to bandage himself as best he could before he took off toward the nearest hospital. Along the way, he called the Canadian Coast Guard, who sent two vessels two hours later. Most of Warnock’s 30 stitches were around his right knee, where he suffered minor nerve damage.
He remembered seeing eagles in the area, and believed the bear might have attacked him to protect his meal, maybe a dead seal or sea lion.
“I just had to bluff him back and say, ‘No, I’m going to put up a fight.’”