November 30, 2023

RCMP say multiple agencies are now probing how a tugboat capsized in waters near the University of British Columbia on Monday, killing a 61-year-old man.

The Joint Rescue Coordination Centre said it was first called about the vessel in distress around 1:30 p.m., prompting a large-scale marine search and rescue operation.

University RCMP said it was notified of a body washing ashore on Tower Beach around 2:45 p.m. Police said a bystander pulled the victim ashore, but life-saving efforts by numerous first responder agencies were unable to revive him.

The Canadian Coast Guard was initially unsure how many people had been aboard the vessel, and continued their search until about 6:20 p.m., after a dive team cleared the tugboat and officials confirmed there was no one else missing.

Mounties said it remained unclear why the vessel had capsized, but that strong winds and turbulent waters may have contributed to the tragedy.

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Police, the BC Coroners Service, the Transportation Safety Board and WorkSafeBC are all now conducting parallel investigations.

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