The British Columbia man credits jerry cans with saving his life.

A Canadian man survived a boat accident and two hours in cold Canadian waters off the coast of Vancouver with no life jacket or survival suit.

Kevin Strain was aboard the 20m Oliver Clark II, helping a friend to shuttle the wooden boat to Vancouver, when it struck a rock off Vancouver Island at 2 a.m. and threw him overboard into 10-degree water.

Strain went through the wheelhouse door on the port side and over the boat’s rail into an area of dangerous currents known as the Yucataw Rapids.

The 39-year-old father wasn’t wearing a life jacket and grabbed two empty 20-litre gas cans that had been thrown over with him before being dragged underwater repeatedly by a current that eventually swept him away from the boat.

Strain eventually found a buoy and began kicking for shore in the darkness, focusing on thoughts of returning to his wife and three young children.

After two hours of swimming, Strain managed to pull himself onto a rocky outcropping, watching from a distance as coastguard lifeboats and a helicopter searched for him.

Eventually, as day broke, Strain’s shouts were heard by a civilian boat assisting with the search, and he was rescued.

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