Elderly man’s body recovered from Gorge Waterway

Man suffered from dementia, had gone missing from nearby home

The body of a 75-year-old Esquimalt man suffering from dementia was recovered from the Gorge on Saturday.

Victoria police responded to a call of a body floating in the Gorge near the Tillicum Narrows, under the Tillicum Road bridge, around 2:30 p.m.

The B.C. Coroners Service has identified the man as James Hay.

“We still need to determine whether the individual may have fallen and drowned, or whether he suffered from something such as a cardiac event beforehand,” said Matt Brown, Island region coroner. “The challenge is there were no witnesses.”

Brown confirmed Hay suffered from dementia, and VicPD spokesman Mike Tucker said it was reported to be Alzheimer’s disease.

The VicPD marine response unit was used to recover the body and police found nothing immediately suspicious about the man’s death.

“He had gone missing hours earlier from his residence nearby,” Tucker said. “Our speculation is that he had fallen into the Gorge.”

The Coroners Service will conduct a full investigation to determine the cause of death.

dpalmer@vicnews.com