Skip to main content

Police, military search and rescue crews looking for missing man, boat off Vancouver Island

A Cormorant helicopter used in search and rescue missions is shown. (Victoria JRCC) A Cormorant helicopter used in search and rescue missions is shown. (Victoria JRCC)

The Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Victoria (JRCC) and the Comox Valley RCMP are searching for a missing 37-year-old man and the rowboat he was reported to have taken.

Mounties said in a statement Friday that they were notified around 7:30 a.m. of an unmanned rowboat floating in the ocean near Royston.

The JRCC was notified and launched crews to check the area, but did not find the boat, police said.

"Later in the morning, a 37-year old man was reported missing from his residence after allegedly taking a rowboat from his property out into the ocean overnight," RCMP said in their statement.

"The JRCC was notified, launched additional crews to the area and a more exhaustive search took place with the Coast Guard Auxiliary and Ground Search and Rescue."

The JRCC told CTV News it was contacted by the RCMP around 11:30 a.m. Friday to help search for a "boat adrift in Baynes Sound, British Columbia."

Baynes Sound is a narrow body of water that separates Vancouver Island from Denman Island, south of Comox.

The JRCC deployed several crews to help with the search, including a CH-149 Cormorant Rescue Helicopter from 19 Wing Comox, an auxiliary Royal Canadian Marine Search & Rescue crew from Station 60 in Comox, and the Canadian Coast Guard ship, the Cape Cockburn.

All of the crews arrived in the area by noon to assist with the search.

"Unfortunately, the man and his boat have not been located," police said in their statement Friday afternoon.

“The efforts to locate the missing man could be narrowed down by locating the rowboat,” said Const. Monika Terragni, in the statement.

"The rowboat is blue, between 14 and 16 feet long, made of fibreglass, and has a square back."

Anyone who has seen a boat matching that description or knows the whereabouts of missing man Christopher Mitchell is asked to contact Comox Valley RCMP immediately and cite file number 2023-3957, police said. Top Stories

Stay Connected