A man died on Monday evening (Sept. 18) after drowning at Coles Bay Regional Park.
The man was trying to get to his boat when the drowning occurred, Sidney/North Saanich RCMP media liaison Cpl. Andres Sanchez said in a Tuesday morning interview.
After a report about a man in his 40s who was struggling to swim, police responded to the Pauquachin boat ramp around 5:40 p.m. Some officers swam out to the man in a rescue attempt that also involved several civilians.
“With the assistance of several brave bystanders, police officers retrieved the man from the water where he was transferred to ambulance and firefighters who began first aid,” police said in a news release. “Sadly, the man was unable to be resuscitated and died at the scene.”
Police believe the man was trying to retrieve his boat after it drifted from the launch and it was reported that he began to struggle due to the water temperature.
“We are deeply saddened by the outcome of this event and our thoughts and condolences are with the family and the community. This incident should stand as a reminder to the public that even the strongest swimmer is at risk without proper flotation equipment in cold water,” Sanchez said in the release.
The Coroners Service is now investigating the incident.