What is normally known by locals as either a pleasant little pond to run or bike beside, or a water hazard on the Royal Colwood Golf Club course, was the scene of a somewhat confusing and at times dramatic series of events Tuesday.
At approximately 6:30 a.m., a 911 call alerted police that a grey Hyundai Elantra was floating in Colwood Lake and bystanders were attempting to rescue an occupant of the vehicle.
Crews from the Colwood and View Royal fire departments, as well as paramedics joined West Shore RCMP officers at the scene and the vehicle was retrieved from the lake. The car, which had drifted 30 to 40 feet from shore, was unoccupied, leading West Shore RCMP to call in the Island District RCMP underwater recovery team to search the lake for what they assumed was the missing occupant.
On Tuesday police were referring to the driver as a “victim,” though they said there was no indication of foul play. Upon contacting the Saanich owner of the vehicle – who was unaware their car was not where they thought it was – police determined the car was stolen.
West Shore RCMP spokesperson Const. Alex Berube said deployment of the dive team after their arrival around 4:15 p.m. was done based on witness statements that, “they were pretty sure they had seen someone in the vehicle, but cannot confirm 100 per cent.”
Two divers were geared up and in the water under the direction of Const. Jim Preston as of 4:45 p.m.
The search was called off at about 8 p.m., Berube said.
“After a thorough search and exhaustion of possible avenues of search, they were satisfied there was no one in the lake,” he wrote in a release Tuesday evening.
The file is still open and police are still investigating. Anyone with information is being asked to contact West Shore RCMP at 250-474-2264 or CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).