22-year-old snowboarder dies on Mount Washington
COURTENAY -- Comox Valley RCMP confirm they are assisting the BC Coroners Service in the investigation of a fatality on Mount Washington Alpine Resort which occurred Tuesday afternoon.
According to staff at the resort, a 22-year-old man from Victoria was snowboarding in bounds with four companions but failed to meet up at the base of a lift as planned.
Ski patrol was notified and a search ensued. The boarder was found shortly thereafter by his companions and he was found in open, intermediate terrain. According to the resort, the man showed "no apparent signs of trauma."
Lifesaving measures were performed by ski patrol and the man's companions but they proved unsuccessful.
The resort's general manager, Dean Prentice, called the incident a tragedy.
"Our team at Mount Washington extends our sincerest condolences to the family and friends of this young man. Our hearts break for them. I would like to thank our first responders and dedicated staff for their efforts in this unfortunate situation," Prentice said.
Volunteers with Oyster River Fire Rescue were called to the resort around 3:30 p.m. Fire chief Bruce Green says his department's volunteers were there to provide assistance to the ski patrol team.
"Basically, our guys were there in an assist role. (Patrollers) already had the person down at the first aid shack so we were just using our vehicle to transport people back and forth. Because of the snowstorm they couldn't get there, we were there just in a support role," said Green.
He says ski patrol staff and doctors were already on the scene when their firefighters arrived.
The BC Coroners Service tells CTV News it was notified yesterday of a death at Mount Washington. It says the coroner is currently investigating to determine all the facts and no further details will be available at this time.
"As per the Coroners Act, to protect the privacy of the deceased, we cannot confirm or release identification," said the service.
Comox Valley RCMP add that there is "nothing to indicate any criminality" related to the man's death.
The popular ski destination has been the scene of two previous tragedies within the past decade. In January 2018, a 27-year-old snowboarder was found unresponsive in a forested area in bounds at the resort. The Campbell River man was described as an experienced logger by his family and he was the focus of a $10,000 online fundraiser at the time to help support his family.
A 15-year-old Claremont Secondary School student also died while snowboarding on the mountain in 2015 when he was found dead in a tree well.
The teen had ridden a chairlift with his sister late in the day, she then reported him missing when he didn't show up at a designated meeting point.
Members of the Comox Valley Search and Rescue Group assisted with an extensive search at the time and their efforts were called off around 11 p.m. that evening when he was discovered in bounds by a snowmobile search team.