Comox Valley RCMP confirmed the body pulled from the ocean by police late Sunday afternoon is that of the 23-year-old Courtenay man who had been reported missing after a kayaking incident early Sunday morning.
RCMP received a call at approximately 12:40 a.m. Sunday morning that a kayaker whose vessel had overturned had failed to come ashore.
“Two young men [23 years old, according to RCMP] from the Comox Valley had planned to go camping on Tree Island,” said Paul Berry of the Comox Valley Ground Search and Rescue. “They parked here at Union Bay and set off with their kayaks. No long after they left, something occurred and they ended up in the water. One was able to swim to shore at Union Point… and the other has failed to return to shore.”
The kayaker who made it to shore walked to the highway and flagged down a passing vehicle.
Berry confirmed that the missing kayaker was not wearing a personal flotation device (i.e. life-jacket).
Four ground search teams, the Royal Canadian Marine SAR, Canadian Coast Guard and Comox 442 Squadron were all involved in the search. The air and ground search was called off early Sunday afternoon, and the RCMP underwater recovery team was called in.
At approximately 4 p.m., the dive team returned to the Union Bay boat launch with the body, at which time the search was officially ended.
Police added the matter in still under investigation. The Comox Valley RCMP will continue to assist the British Columbia Corners Service.