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Missing kayaker found dead near Gibsons

Intensive all-night search involved the Canadian Coast Guard and three search and rescue units.
5560 Siyay Landed
The Canadian Coast Guard Hovercraft Siyay landed in Snug Cove Dec. 5, 2020 for a training exercise.

A missing kayaker was found dead near Gibsons Saturday morning after an intensive all-night search involving the Canadian Coast Guard and three search and rescue units.

Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue (RCM-SAR) Station 14 and Station 1, the Canadian Coast Guard and Sunshine Coast Ground Search and Rescue (SAR) were involved in the search for the kayaker, starting Friday night.

The kayaker was found dead in the water south of Gibsons, said an RCMP press release Nov. 28. 

The kayak – a yellow, recreational sit-in – was listed as missing as of Sunday afternoon, according to a Station 14 social media post, but an RCMP press release Nov. 28 said it had been located by search teams. 

Kayaker reported overdue from Gibsons Friday

The kayaker had been reported overdue from Gibsons, according to the Sunshine Coast RCMP. A callout was initiated at about 8:15 p.m. Friday, according to Maritime Forces Pacific public affairs officer Christian Jax.

The initial search unfolded near and around Keats Island and Shoal Channel. 

Coxswain Tess Huntly of the Gibsons RCM-SAR unit said they were called to assist with the multi-unit search, with five members on the water into the early hours, followed by a replacement crew starting at approximately 8 a.m. Saturday.

Ground SAR was also called to assist with a shoreline search and were stood down by Saturday morning, according to manager Alec Tebbutt.

Two Coast Guard vessels were involved, as well as the CCGS Siyay hovercraft and helicopter, both of which continued the search into the night and into the morning, “and that’s when they found the kayaker,” said Jax, at which point the RCMP became involved. 

The BC Coroners Service has taken over the file, said the RCMP press release, and Sunshine Coast RCMP will continue to assist if needed.