July 13

Body of missing boater recovered in Florence Lake

The body of a 61-year-old Langford man was recovered from Florence Lake shortly after noon on Friday, July 13.

The body of a 61-year-old Langford man was recovered from Florence Lake shortly after noon on Friday, July 13.

The name has not been released by West Shore RCMP, but the body was identified at the scene by a friend of the missing man.

Late in the afternoon on July 12, a 60-year-old man and a 51-year-old man were boating on the lake. The boat capsized about 30 feet from shore. Witnesses saw both men swimming toward the shore, and the 51-year-old made it and then fled the scene immediately after.

The 60-year-old did not appear and search and rescue crews combed the area until dusk, but could not find the man.

The boat capsized 30 feet from the shore and the body was found 130 feet from where the boat tipped.

At 5 p.m., July 12, West Shore RCMP and Langford Fire Rescue arrived on scene searching for the missing man. When nothing turned up, they called in the RCMP underwater recovery team.

“Swimming in this lake would be like clawing your way through weeds,” said Const. Greg Bouvier, RCMP underwater recovery team. The deceased man was found without a lifejacket.

“No one saw him drown. One minute he was swimming and the next he was gone,” said Cpl. Bryson Hill, noting that disappear suddenly. “Drowning isn’t like what you see in the movies.”

The maximum water depth where the divers found the body is 11 feet and the weeds are eight feet high.

RCMP have not been able to question the survivor. RCMP speculate the 51-year-old fled the scene because he has an outstanding warrant for a violent offense.

“We don’t know what happened when the boat capsized,” said Hill, adding they would like to question the survivor but, if he comes forward, he will be arrested for his warrant.

charla@goldstreamgazette.com