Nanaimo firefighters search the water near where a man fell out of his canoe and drowned in Westwood Lake Monday.

Nanaimo firefighters search the water near where a man fell out of his canoe and drowned in Westwood Lake Monday.

Update: Divers recover body of man who drowned in Westwood Lake in Nanaimo

NANAIMO – RCMP dive team recovered the man's body Wednesday at about 12:30 p.m.

A Nanaimo RCMP dive team recovered the body of a man who drowned in Westwood Lake.

According to Nanaimo police, the body was discovered at about 12:30 p.m. Wednesday. The B.C. Coroners Service was called to attend the scene.

So far little information has been released about the victim and police said any further  information about the victim and his identity will be released at the discretion of the Coroners Service.

On Monday, witnesses called 911 shortly after 4 p.m. when a man was spotted in the water with an overturned canoe about 80 metres offshore near the lake’s second beach area by passersby.

Geoff Nutter, a witness, said the man was in the water for several minutes and was in communication with people on shore, initially saying he was alright and not to call for help before he began to struggle and started going under the water. Nutter said people had called 911 as soon as they saw the victim in the water. An off-duty RCMP officer, jogging in the park, also attempted to reach the victim.

“One of the young guys jumped in, got about three feet and said it was too cold, he couldn’t make it,” Nutter said.

Nutter estimated the man was in the water about 20 minutes before he succumbed.

RCMP divers began searching the lake Tuesday after a search by emergency responders failed to find the man Monday. Police have not released the victim’s identity.

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