RCMP on Vancouver Island say a tragic incident at Coles Bay on Monday is a potent reminder of how dangerous the water can be.
Sidney North Saanich RCMP and emergency crews were called to the Pauquachin boat ramp at Coles Bay on the Saanich Inlet around 5:40 p.m., where a man was reported to be struggling in the water.
Officers arrived to find two bystanders trying to help, and a pair of Mounties entered the water where they swam out to retrieve the man.
Police and the bystanders were able to bring the man, who was in his 40s, to shore where paramedics and firefighters attempted life-saving aid.
“The unfortunate thing and the sad thing here is that individual was not able to be resuscitated,” RCMP Cpl. Andres Sancehz told Global News.
Police believe the man was trying to retrieve his boat, which had drifted away from the launch, but began to struggle due to the cold temperature of the water.
“The message to take away from this incident is whenever you’re working around water, you’re on a boat, even if you’re on a dock it’s always a good idea to be wearing a floatation device,” Sanchez said.
“Even the strongest swimmer can sometimes succumb to the cold water, especially this item of year.”
The B.C. Coroners Service is now investigating the man’s death.