Langford man dies in boating accident

Witnesses says homemade powerboat exploded on lake

Witnesses say what they believed to be a homemade powerboat was launching from the end of a dock on Sproat Lake, near Port Alberni, when it exploded Saturday.

A B.C. Coroners Service news release Monday confirmed the identity of the man who died in the accident as Langford resident Michael Douglas, 39.

The release said Douglas and a friend were operating a boat on Sproat Lake Saturday afternoon when the boat’s engine suddenly cut out. The boat appeared to lift into the air before crashing back into the lake. Those nearby came immediately to assist and were able to rescue one of the men from the water. He is being treated in hospital for serious injuries.

An RCMP dive team recovered Douglas from the lake the following morning. Cause of death is undetermined pending autopsy findings. The B.C. Coroners Service and Port Alberni RCMP continue to investigate the cause of the incident.