One man in his 40s has died after drowning in waters off Coles Bay Regional Park in North Saanich.
Mounties were called to the beach around 5:40 p.m. Monday, Sept. 18, for a report of a man who had gone under the water, according to Sidney/North Saanich RCMP Cpl. Andres Sanchez.
The man appeared to be struggling to swim in Coles Bay, and Sanchez says officers swam to him when they arrived on scene.
“Our officers entered the water, swam and recovered him with help from bystanders and swimmers,” he told CHEK News Tuesday.
Back on land, paramedics and firefighters provided first aid.
“Sadly, the man was unable to be resuscitated and died at the scene,” said Sanchez.
Police think he was trying to retrieve his boat after it drifted from the Pauquachin boat launch.
“It was reported that the man swam to the drifting boat but due to water temperatures he began to struggle,” states an RCMP news release.
The BC Coroners Service says it’s investigating the man’s death.
“…but as we’re very early in the process of determining the facts I have no additional information available at this time,” a spokesperson said in an emailed statement.
“Per the Coroners Act and due to privacy considerations we do not release or confirm information related to the identity of decedents.”
Sanchez adds that the incident is a good reminder that even the strongest swimmer is at risk without proper floatation equipment, especially when in cold water.
“We are deeply saddened by the outcome of this event and our thoughts and condolences are with the family and the community,” he said.