Shortly after 10:00 pm on June 12th, 2014, the Sayward RCMP received a report of an overturned commercial crabbing vessel near Kelsey Bay. The boat, a 28 foot aluminum vessel, is believed to have overturned at approximately 9:00 pm.  There were two crew members on board at the time.

The deck hand, a 32 year old man from the Comox Valley, was wearing a personal flotation device (PFD) at the time, enabling him to swim to safety at a residence near Brazeau Bay.  A 9-1-1 call was made from the residence, initiating a response from the Sayward RCMP, Canadian Coast Guard, the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre, and the British Columbia Ambulance Service.

Despite the efforts of local citizens and rescue crews, the Captain of the vessel, a 48 year old Comox Valley man, was not located.  Based on all available information, police do not believe he was wearing a PFD, and was unable to reach the safety of shore.  Authorities presume the man drowned prior to the rescue call being made.

A search for the missing man and the sunken vessel continues at this hour.

Next of kin notification is ongoing, therefore the identity of the missing man will not be released.

-Contributed by BC RCMP