On Oct. 16 a commercial diver has drowned on the southwest side of Dewdney Island. (Google Maps)

On Oct. 16 a commercial diver has drowned on the southwest side of Dewdney Island. (Google Maps)

Commercial diver from Prince Rupert drowns in Hecate Strait

WorkSafeBC and BC Coroners Service are investigating the diving incident south of Dewdney Island

A commercial diver has drowned in Hecate Strait, near Dewdney Island, on Oct. 16.

BC Coroners Service has confirmed that their investigation involves a male in his 20s from Prince Rupert, but they will not confirm or release the identity of the deceased.

At 11 a.m. a search and rescue report came into the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Victoria.

“We had a report that a commercial diver was unfortunately recovered by a dive boat on the southwest side of Dewdney Island,” said Lieutenant (navy) Melissa Kia, spokesperson for Maritime Forces Pacific and Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Victoria.

Several vessels and emergency crews were on the scene including the Canadian Coast Guard ship, Gordon Reid, a coast guard rescue craft, the RCMP vessel Inkster and B.C. emergency health services helicopter.

“The Gordon Reid transported the victim and their affects, basically the dive gear, to Prince Rupert, where the case was handed over to the RCMP,” Lieut. Kia said.

Prince Rupert RCMP are assisting with the investigation, which is now in the hands of the BC Coroners Service and WorkSafe BC.

“WorkSafeBC was notified at 12:11 p.m. yesterday (Oct. 16) of a serious incident, by a member of the RCMP’s West Coast Marine detachment. Preliminary details indicate the incident involved a commercial diver south of Dewdney Island. WorkSafeBC is investigating,” said Gillian Burnett, media relations officer for WorkSafe BC, in an email.

Dewdney Island is an area where divers go to harvest sea urchins.

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