Gulf Islands Driftwood
Voice of the Southern Gulf Islands

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Man’s body found in Ganges Harbour

Extensive search undertaken by rescue crews

The body of a boater who went missing on Monday evening in Ganges Harbour has been found.

Cpl. Tammy Douglas of the RCMP Island District confirmed Wednesday morning that the man’s body had been recovered on Tuesday afternoon near Powder Islet.

“The Salt Spring RCMP with the assistance of RCMP West Coast Marine located the body and the recovery was conducted by the RCMP Dive Team,” states Douglas in a press release.

Douglas said the man’s name would not be released until his family had been notified.

Salt Spring Island RCMP received a call of a male in the water near Powder Islet around 8:15 p.m. on Monday night. According to a media contact at the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Victoria, a witness saw the man’s rowboat capsize. He did not reappear, but his dog made it to Powder Islet and from there to Churchill Beach.

Search teams were called off around 10 p.m. on Monday. RCMP confirmed the incident as a missing persons case on Tuesday morning, while Salt Spring Search and Rescue ground crews combed the area for signs during the low tide.

Salt Spring search manager Chuck Hamilton said 18 crew members in total participated.

“We searched the waterfront from Madrona Bay and Churchill Beach through the marinas and all around the harbour but didn’t find any signs,” Hamilton said.

Nick Boychuk and his Eagle Eye Marine Services vessel responded to a mayday call for an overturned vessel that came over the VHF radio around 7:15 p.m. They arrived along with a Ganges Coast Guard crew and another private boat.

“We saw the vessel in question, his dinghy, and the vessel he was going to, which was a sailboat. We did a search with the Coast Guard but came up with nothing,” Boychuk said.

For more on this story, see the June 14, 2017 issue of the Gulf Islands Driftwood.

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