The body of a man who went missing during a boating accident on December 12th, 2014, has been located by RCMP Divers with the Underwater Recovery Team.

On December 12th, 2014 at approximately 11:30 pm, two males in their 20’s departed the Lyall Harbour Government Wharf on Saturna Island in a 13 foot double rower row boat. The two males were headed from Lyall Harbour towards Mayne Island, where they had a sailboat anchored that had begun drifting due to high winds. While en route towards the sailboat, the row boat capsized and submerged, leaving the two males in the frigid waters. One male was able to swim to Mayne Island, where at day break he was able to contact the Canadian Coast Guard and the Outer Gulf Islands RCMP to report his friend missing.

An extensive three day water, air and land search commenced, with participation from multiple search and rescue agencies, including the RCMP. On December 14th, the active search and rescue operation was suspended after all viable search areas were examined.

With the assistance of the Legacy Water Search and Recovery Society, who utilized a side scan sonar unit, a possible location for the man’s body was identified on December 16th, 2014. The location was on the ocean floor, close to the spot where the rowboat capsized.

The RCMP Underwater Recovery Team, operating from the RCMP’s West Coast Marine Patrol Vessel ‘Higgitt’, spent the last two days searching the area identified by the sonar results. Earlier today, (December 19th), RCMP Divers located the man’s body. His family has been notified, and the BC Coroners Service is now leading the ongoing investigation into this death. Investigators have found no evidence to suggest foul play was involved.

With the assistance of Legacy Water Search and Recovery Society, we were able to narrow down a search area for our divers, and recover this man’s body, states Sgt. Rod Pick of the Outer Gulf Islands RCMP. This is a tragic loss for the man’s family, and we hope that the efforts of all involved bring them a small amount of comfort at this most difficult time.

The Legacy Water Search and Recovery Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting families of drowning victims, and the searchers who work to bring their loved ones home. The RCMP extends our gratitude to all those involved in this search, rescue, and recovery operation.