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Vancouver man dies in Vancouver Island tubing tragedy

A 56-year-old Vancouver man died after being carried through section of Cowichan River rapids
The Cowichan River has claimed the life of a 56-year-old Vancouver man. (file) The Cowichan River has claimed the life of a 56-year-old Vancouver man. (Citizen file photo)

A 56-year-old Vancouver man has died while tubing on the Cowichan River.

On Monday, Aug. 29 just after 6:30 p.m. the Lake Cowichan RCMP were called to help with an incident at Marie Canyon off of Riverbottom Road.

According Sgt. Chris Manseau, acting senior media relations officer for the B.C. RCMP, witnesses reported the man had been tubing with friends and had planned to get out of the water before the Marie Canyon rapids but he was unable to do so.

“The friends of the deceased lost sight of him, but later located him approximately 500 metres down the river,” Manseau said. “When the man was found he was in immediate medical distress, and first aid measures were given immediately.”

Paramedics and members of the Lake Cowichan Fire Department also assisted with life saving measures but the man died at the scene, police said.

“The Cowichan River is a very popular spot for tubing and swimming, and the RCMP want to remind those partaking to use caution as sudden changes in the river can cause unforeseen hazards,” Manseau said. “Though important, swimming skills alone aren’t always enough to save a life. Many drowning incidents involve other factors that swimming skills alone cannot prepare an individual for.”

The identity of the victim has not been released by police.

The Lake Cowichan RCMP and BC Coroners Service are investigating.

RELATED: VIDEO: Want safe tubing? Lake Cowichan mayor, local operator say stay close to town

Sarah Simpson

About the Author: Sarah Simpson

I started my time with Black Press Media as an intern, before joining the Citizen in the summer of 2004.
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