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Man dead, woman and teens rescued after yacht sinks off Vancouver Island

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One man is dead after a 12-metre yacht sank in the Strait of Juan de Fuca south of Victoria on Friday.

The British Columbia Coroners Service confirmed Wednesday it is investigating one death that resulted from the incident.

The United States Coast Guard rescued one woman and two teenage girls from a dinghy that was associated with the sinking vessel around 7 p.m.

A U.S. Coast Guard rescue helicopter from Port Angeles, Wash., was dispatched to the scene, approximately three kilometres south of Victoria.

The air crew found and hoisted the woman and teenagers into the aircraft and took them to Victoria General Hospital after they showed signs of hypothermia.

U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Michael Clark says the sunken vessel was found nearby and identified as a 12-metre yacht named A Little Serenity.

The vessel is registered in Kenmore, Wash., northeast of Seattle, and all four people aboard were U.S. citizens, Clark said.

It is not known what caused the yacht to take on water and sink, nor what caused the death of the man on board.

The vessel had no prior contacts with the U.S. Coast Guard and was most recently certified by the agency on April 19, according to U.S. Coast Guard records.

"I can confirm that the B.C. Coroners Service was notified and is investigating one death resulting from this incident," Ryan Panton, spokesperson for the B.C. Coroners Service, said in a statement to CTV News.

"As we're very early in the process of trying to determine all of the facts, I have no additional information available at this time," the statement concluded.

The U.S. Coast Guard says it was first alerted to the vessel in distress by the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Victoria. The agency said the Canadian Coast Guard found the deceased male among the wreckage of the sunken boat and took him away on a Canadian rescue boat.

The Canadian Coast Guard declined to provide any details about the incident, instead referring questions to B.C. Emergency Health Services, which in turn referred questions to the B.C. Coroners Service.

The U.S. Coast Guard says the vessel went down in one-and-a-half-metre seas with winds reaching 37 km/h.

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