A woman in her early 50s drowned in the Cowichan River Saturday, the BC Coroner’s Service said.
Lake Cowichan RCMP were called to a reported drowning in the Cowichan River near Horseshoe Bend and Marie Canyon just before 3:30 p.m. RCMP said the woman, who is from Duncan, had allegedly passed the “pull out zone” while rafting down the river. She then entered an area of rough water where she attempted to make her way to the side and exit the tube.
The woman became trapped under the water. A 33-year-old man, who she was tubing with, was able to pull her from the water and began resuscitation attempts until emergency personnel arrived.
“It was a very steep canyon area to pull them up on a stretcher and we assisted getting them up and moving the patient up to the helicopter,” Doug Knott, Lake Cowichan Fire Department Fire Chief, said.
Knott said the area from Skutz Falls to Marie Canyon is too dangerous for tubing and almost every year, the fire department is called to a drowning in that area.
“It picks up quickly because it narrows, drops and a lot of rock. It’s hard to get out at places,” Knott said.
“There’s lots of good places to tube on the river.”
The woman was airlifted to Victoria General Hospital. The woman died in the hospital early the next morning.
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The woman’s name has not been released at this time. An investigation into the drowning is ongoing.
Anyone who witnessed the incident is asked to call Lake Cowichan RCMP at 250-749-6688.