Comox Valley Ground Search and Rescue are looking in the Courtenay River for a possible man who dove off the 5th Street bridge Wednesday night. Photo by Erin Haluschak

Updated: Ground search and rescue stood down in search for diver

Wednesday night around 8:40 pm, the Comox Valley RCMP was notified of a person diving off the Fifth Street Bridge in Courtenay and did not resurface.

A witness said they had seen a man dive off the bridge, but not come back to the surface. Comox Valley Ground Search and Rescue were called to assist in a search of the area. The search was suspended overnight, and has resumed this morning, with assistance from Air 8.

“We’ve had no missing persons reports overnight and we’ve had no other people come forward to say that they saw this as well,” said RCMP Const. Rob Gardner.

Around 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Comox Valley Ground Search and Rescue stood down their search, and an RCMP marine crew from Nanaimo was in the water near the Courtenay Air Park searching the Courtenay River by boat.

“Because we have a report and we do have a witness that said they did see someone dive off the bridge, we have to make sure we cover all the bases in case someone did dive off,” added Gardner.

“There is a possiblilty they could be injured and be on the shore or they may have made it out. The other possibility is they may have dived in and come up on the other side of the bridge and the person who witnessed that may not have seen that.”

He noted diving from the Fifth Street bridge is not recommended.

“There’s no safe way to do it. It’s tidal water; when the tide’s in, it’s deep, but when the tide’s out, it’s not so deep.”

If anyone was in the area of the bridge Wednesday evening, and saw anything that could assist the investigation, please contact the Comox Valley RCMP at 250-338-1321.