RCMP Cruiser Generic
(File photo)

A man in his 40s died after attempting to swim to his drifting boat in North Saanich last night.

The Sidney/North Saanich RCMP responded to a distress call around 5:40 p.m. Monday, September 18th, at the Pauquachin boat ramp at Coles Bay.

According to RCMP, the distress call was made after witnesses spotted the man, later identified as being in his 40s, struggling to swim.

The situation escalated quickly as the man appeared to be in distress while attempting to retrieve a drifting boat from the boat launch.  It was reported that the man swam to the drifting boat but due to water temperatures he began to struggle.

Two RCMP officers entered the water in a bid to rescue him, supported by several bystanders who lent their assistance.

Despite their efforts, the man was retrieved from the water and transferred to awaiting ambulance and firefighters, who initiated immediate first aid procedures.

Tragically, all attempts to resuscitate the victim proved unsuccessful, and he succumbed to the incident on-site.

“We are deeply saddened by the outcome of this event and our thoughts and condolences are with the family and the community,” said Corporal Andres Sanchez of the Sidney North Saanich RCMP.

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.”

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