Rescue crews on the pier early Tuesday morning. (Contributed photo)

Man drowns near White Rock pier

White Rock resident, 59, told police he was going for a swim and ‘did not appear to be in distress’

BC Coroners office is investigating after a man drowned near White Rock pier early Tuesday morning.

According to White Rock RCMP Const. Chantal Sears, police on routine foot patrol were alerted to a man who had walked into the water just after midnight, by two concerned citizens.

Investigating, they located a man swimming towards the breakwater.

He “did not appear to be in distress,” Sears said.

“They asked his name, he answered. He said he was just out for a swim.”

Concerned the man may run into difficulties getting back to shore, police contacted the Coast Guard. Communications with the swimmer ceased once he passed the breakwater, Sears said.

In addition to police, fire, ambulance, hovercraft and an RCM-SAR5 (Crescent Beach) crew responded to the scene, along with a civilian vessel, RCM-SAR5 spokesman Dean Donnelly told Peace Arch News.

A search was conducted from about 12:30 a.m. for about an hour. The victim – described by police as a 59-year-old White Rock resident – was unresponsive when located, Donnelly said.

He was recovered by the Coast Guard approximately 600 metres west of the pier.

Despite extensive emergency-resuscitation efforts, he did not survive.

A Coast Guard spokesperson confirmed the dive team was tasked out but deferred further comment to police.

The coroner arrived on the scene at about 2:30 a.m.

Sears described the incident as “tragic… really sad.” She confirmed the man’s family has been notified. His identity has not been released.

BC Coroners Service spokesman Andy Watson confirmed an investigation is underway, but said “it is still very early on and there is no further information at this time.”

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BC Coroners office is investigating after a man drowned near White Rock pier early Tuesday morning. (Aaron Hinks photo)

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