Search called off for missing boater off Ten Mile Point

A young Saanich man remains missing this morning after a canoe capsized off Ten Mile Point Friday night.

A young Saanich man remains missing after his canoe capsized Friday night near Ten Mile Point during a camping venture that turned terribly tragic.

Two young men, each 20-year-old Saanich residents, launched their canoe from Telegraph Bay Cove July 6 with the intention of camping on nearby Discovery Island.

The canoe capsized when they transited Baynes Channel near Ten Mile Point and the men clung to a dry bag of camping gear. Residents of the point heard their cries for help and called police. Neither man was wearing a life jacket, and no personal floatation devices were in the canoe.

One of the men was found clinging to Tod Rock near Mary Tod Island off Oak Bay at 12:25 a.m. He was plucked from the rocks with hypothermia, but released in good health Saturday from Royal Jubilee Hospital.

“He was severely hypothermic when they found him, but the best that could be expected for being in the water for an hour and a half,” said Kim Bentzon, station leader with the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue, station 33, Oak Bay, who attended the call.

Unfortunately after an exhaustive water and shoreline search Friday night and Saturday morning, the second man hasn’t been found.

“The fellows did not have (personal floatation devices) and that’s certainly the first thing any boater should always have,” Bentzon said. “For the one fellow who made it to the rock, that was great, but for the other fellow, not so.”

Saanich police Sgt. Dean Jantzen said the men became separated in the water in the dark near Tod Rock.

“His buddy was washed up onto the rock. That’s when the second man was last seen,” Jantzen said. “It’s tragic, they were just in sight of shore.”

Sea conditions were  relatively calm with a light breeze and “nothing overly severe”, Bentzon added.

“In that area there is a lot of current all of the time,” said Steve Hanna, deputy chief of the Saanich fire department, which also responded to the call. “Whether the tide is strong that day – there is a strong current always.”

Boats from Canadian and U.S. coast guards, Victoria police marine unit, Saanich fire department boat, RCMP marine unit, Oak Bay police and fire departments combed the waters at night and in the morning, along with a Cormorant helicopter out of Comox.

Saanich search and rescue volunteers hunted the shoreline from Ten Mile Point to Ogden Point from dawn July 7 until the search was called off in the early afternoon. Jantzen said rescuers just ran out of areas to look, and the search yielded no clues.

At approximately 4 p.m. near Race Rocks, a commercial fishing vessel from Delta located a blue canoe the same make, size and appearance to that used by the men.

The incident is now classified as a missing person case. Police aren’t saying if the man likely  perished or could have made it to shore somewhere, although police say the window of survival in water at night is about three hours. There are scores of rocky islets between Willows Beach and Discovery and Chatham islands.

Saanich major crimes detectives have been assigned to the case and are supporting the families of the men. Detectives have determined drugs and alcohol aren’t a factor in the canoe capsizing. Greater Victoria Victims Services volunteers are also assisting the families.

Saanich police are asking boaters and beach-goers keep watch for the missing man who is described as wearing a blue Umbro soccer zip-up. Missing items include two wooden paddles and a neon green dry bag containing camping equipment, an item that investigators are hoping will reveal more clues as to what happened and perhaps refine a search area, though there is no further search being considered at this point, Jantzen said.

“(Investigators) are really involved to help support the family and to speak to everybody to get a sense of how this happened,” he said.

Anyone with information about this incident or who comes across any of the missing items can contact the Saanich police at 250-475-4321.

editor@saanichnews.com

– with files from Natalie North

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Victoria’s 75,000 veggie plants ready to find a home

New gardeners line-up for Get Growing Victoria

Vancouver Island hasn’t seen a new homegrown case of COVID-19 in two weeks

Island’s low and steady transmission rate chalked up to several factors

No one injured in suspicious Victoria boat fire, say investigators

Victoria police and fire personnel called to blaze on waters near Selkirk Trestle May 22

VIDEO: Saanich police tackle man who refused to move off Trans-Canada Highway

At this point, it is unclear why the man refused to move

Three people facing mischief charges after protests at Premier John Horgan’s home

Special prosecutor was appointed to avoid real or perceived undue influence

Dump truck in Nanaimo snags power lines, snaps hydro pole, crashes

No injuries in incident Monday morning on Old Victoria Road

Ferry sailings scheduled once again at Nanaimo’s Departure Bay terminal

BC Ferries announces that resumption of service June 3 includes four daily round trips

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Island Health signs working agreement to turn former Comox hospital into a ‘dementia village’

Island Health has signed a project development agreement with Providence Living to… Continue reading

Kelowna man charged with harming a hamster

The 20-year-old Kelowna man faces several animal cruelty charges

High tech fish transport system set up to ‘whoosh’ salmon past Big Bar landslide

Fish will spend roughly 20 seconds inside the system, moving at roughly 20 metres per second

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for Canadian workers, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

Snowbirds jets will not be leaving Kamloops, just yet

The Snowbirds have been in Kamloops since May 17 when a plane crashed killing Capt. Jennifer Casey

Most Read