Sailings of the B.C. Ferry M.V. Queen of Oak Bay were cancelled after a man went overboard Monday.
The incident happened at about 4:15 p.m. as the ferry was sailing southeast of Bowen Island on its 3 p.m. run from Horseshoe Bay to Departure Bay.
A passenger aboard the ferry witnessed the victim going overboard from the main car deck, said Darin Gunette, B.C. Ferries spokesman.
The crew of the Queen of Oak Bay launched its rescue boat, managed to recover the victim and transfer him to a Vancouver Police Department marine unit boat that responded to the scene.
The M.V. Queen of Cowichan, on route to Horseshoe Bay from Nanaimo, also assisted in the search.
The crew of a Canadian Coast Guard hovercraft provided medical attention to the victim aboard the police craft, which rushed him to an ambulance in Horseshoe Bay, according to the Canadian Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Victoria.
Barge, fishing vessel helping now. pic.twitter.com/nquCFTDsH7
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The victim, 45, had been in the water nearly 30 minutes and died in hospital Tuesday.
The Queen of Oak Bay’s 3 p.m. sailing from Horseshoe Bay to Departure was already delayed nearly 50 minutes because of a vehicle stalled on it car deck. The ship’s remaining 5 p.m., 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. sailings were cancelled.
“It’s the request of the police when they’re doing an investigation into something like this,” Gunette said. “The vessel stays put until they’ve checked everything they have to check.”
Gunette went on to say the cancelled sailings caused little in the way of traffic delays and customers were given the option of boarding sailings from Duke Point to Tsawwassen.
“We didn’t see any severe overloads or anything like that,” Gunette said. “Customers are understanding in an issue like this, for sure.”
Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman, said the name of the victim will not be released and the investigation had been turned over the B.C. Coroners Service.