Mounties dove into the frigid waters of Cowichan Bay to rescue what they thought was a woman trapped inside a submerged truck Tuesday night, but the vehicle turned out to be empty, according to RCMP.
Officers were called to the Hecate Park boat ramp after receiving a report at around 7:45 p.m. that a white pickup truck drove down the ramp and into the ocean “with an unknown number of people inside,” RCMP said in a news release.
Arriving officers were told by a man seen exiting the truck that his girlfriend was still inside the submerged vehicle.
One officer dove into the water and swam down to the vehicle to rescue her, but it was determined that the vehicle was empty.
“Further investigation confirmed that the driver’s girlfriend was safe and at home in her residence in the Greater Victoria area,” RCMP said in a statement.
The Joint Rescue Coordination Centre dispatched vessels from Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue to help, and the Canadian Coast Guard was also called in.
Charges of impaired driving have been recommended against the truck driver, who was taken to hospital, police said.
North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP are asking any witnesses to contact them at 250-748-5522.
Last night at 19:45 our station was tasked in response to a vehicle entering the water at the end of the Hecate Park ramp in Cowichan Bay. There were no persons in the vehicle. The location of the driver was found; they were not in the vehicle at the time of entry to the water. pic.twitter.com/aXoyoO5mOn
— RCMSAR34 (@RCMSAR34) October 13, 2021