A scuba diver at Alouette Lake suffered a fatal heart attack on Sunday.
Maple Ridge Fire and Rescue were called to South Beach in Golden Ears Provincial Park at approximately 11 a.m., for a call that came in as a drowning incident.
A group was scuba diving off the shore at the beach, using diving equipment, when a middle-aged man suffered medical distress, explained Chief Michael Van Dop.
The victim had been carried out of the water, but was suffering cardiac arrest when emergency responders arrived.
A witness on the scene said he was with his family, and saw a group of four scuba divers in the water, and another two closer to shore. He heard a loud cry for help, and realized one of the divers in deep water was in trouble. Not all of the divers were immediately aware of his distress, but the two near shore came out to help him.
The eyewitness also helped to get the victim to shore, where members of the group started giving him CPR. Their patient was in obvious medical distress, and the witness described it as a traumatic scene.
With no cellphone access at the beach, a pair of men drove toward Maple Ridge where they could make a 9-1-1 call.
The witness said paramedics arrived, but estimated it was a half hour before the air ambulance arrived. He said the incident highlighted the need for phone service in the park in the event of emergency.
An air ambulance landed on the beach but did not take the patient to hospital, as he did not survive the incident.
The BC Coroners Service is in the early stages of an investigation into the death.
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