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Man drowns trying to swim to boat in Saanich Inlet

The MV Klitsa, which serves the Mill Bay-Brentwood Bay BC Ferries route, is shown in the Saanich Inlet. June 6, 2018. (CTV News) The MV Klitsa, which serves the Mill Bay-Brentwood Bay BC Ferries route, is shown in the Saanich Inlet. June 6, 2018. (CTV News)
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A man is dead after he drowned while trying to swim to his drifting boat in the Saanich Inlet on Monday evening.

Mounties with the Sidney/North Saanich RCMP detachment responded to the Pauquachin boat ramp in Coles Bay around 5:40 p.m.

Two RCMP officers and several bystanders entered the water and swam out to the man in an attempt to rescue him.

The man, who police say was in his 40s, was brought to shore and carried to an ambulance where paramedics and firefighters performed first aid.

Despite their efforts, the man was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

Investigators say the man was trying to retrieve his boat, which had drifted away from the boat launch, when he became fatigued in the cold water.

"We are deeply saddened by the outcome of this event and our thoughts and condolences are with the family and the community," Sidney North Saanich RCMP Cpl. Andres Sanchez said Tuesday.

"This incident should stand as a reminder to the public that even the strongest swimmer is at risk without proper flotation equipment in cold water."

The B.C. Coroners Service is now investigating the drowning.

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