Accident Database

Report ID# 24982

  • Pinned in Boat Against Strainer
  • Does not Apply
  • Cold Water
  • Solo Paddling
  • High Water

Accident Description

Missing kayaker's body recovered from Capilano River


Published Tuesday, January 30, 2018 7:45AM PST
Last Updated Tuesday, January 30, 2018 9:54AM PST

Rescue crews recovered the body of a kayaker Tuesday, a day after he was swept away in a rain-swollen Capilano River.

In a statement, Mounties said the 48-year-old entered the river at about 3 p.m. on Monday near the Capilano Fish Hatchery. Minutes later, he was separated from his kayak.

Police officers, firefighters, members of North Shore Rescue and the Coast Guard all sprang into action after hearing reports of a kayaker in distress.

A SAR helicopter spotted the kayaker's body under log jam at around sunset.

"Several people identified him floating down the river," said North Vancouver RCMP Cpl. Richard De Jong. "Ultimately, it was someone in the helicopter who saw his body submerged about two feet underneath the water."

Crews, however, were unable to recover the body until about 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday because of the lack of visibility and dangerous waters.

"He was in whitewater about a foot and a half below the water level wrapped around a tree," said search manager Peter Haigh. "It was very difficult for our kayakers to see him even while they were very close to him."

The BC Coroners Service is working to identify the body and to notify the man's next of kin.

"Our condolences go out to the family and friends of this deceased kayaker," De Jong said.

The man was kayaking alone, and officials urge anyone else entering rushing rivers on the North Shore to bring a buddy.

"I understand kayakers like that sort of water, and that's understandable. But he certainly shouldn't have been on his own," said Haigh.

A Coast Guard hovercraft also recovered the man's kayak Monday while combing the Capilano River and the Burrard Inlet.

Officials are warning others to stay away from rivers and riverbanks after a rainstorm dumped 100 millimetres of rain on the North Shore Monday. The ground is still waterlogged and riverbanks could be unstable.

"This incident ended tragically, taking the life of an outdoor enthusiast," De Jong said. "Emergency personnel remind everyone at this time of year to be extremely cautious near and on all raging waters."

With files from CTV Vancouver's Nafeesa Karim

Kayaker dies along Capilano River in North Vancouver

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North Vancouver RCMP says that the search for a male kayaker "is now a recovery operation". The man was spotted in distress yesterday along the Capilano River as water levels were at an extremely high level.

The search was halted overnight and efforts to find his body will resume this morning.

The kayaker's name has not been released.

Nearly 100 millimetres of rain fell on North Vancouver on Sunday and Monday (January 28 and 29).

Recovery operations of the deceased kayaker at Capilano River have stopped for the night. Efforts will resume in the morning. Remember to use extra caution around all fast moving waters during all rain advisories.


Update: The man's body has been recovered this morning after water levels had dropped by 70 percent. His name has not been released.


Kayaker's body recovered from Capilano River (VIDEO)

Searchers find man's body near the Capilano rugby club clubhouse this morning


North Vancouver RCMP have recovered the body of a kayaker who fell into the Capilano River yesterday.

Cpl. Richard De Jong says the man’s body was found near the Capilano rugby club clubhouse, a “far ways” from where he had fallen into the fast-moving water.

  Fire and rescue crews in both North Vancouver and West Vancouver were called out at around 3:30 p.m. yesterday to a report of a kayaker swimming beside a kayak in the river near the Capilano Suspension Bridge, said Assistant Fire Chief Chad Laforete of District of North Vancouver Fire and Rescue.


The North Vancouver RCMP and Coast Guard were also called out, with the Coast Guard’s hovercraft sent to the mouth of the Capilano River.

The kayak was taken out of the water in the Ambleside area that day.

Shortly before 6 pm., the North Vancouver RCMP said that the rescue had turned into a recovery operation. An hour later, the search was suspended for the evening.

Cpl. De Jong said that the body was recovered at 7:30 a.m. today. North Shore Rescue had issued a warning a few days ago of the dangers of the river’s high waters. “Keep dogs on leash and avoid rivers/streams if you go hiking. Be aware that river levels can fluctuate unexpectedly leaving unwary hikers/runners stranded.”

The river level has dropped 70 per cent overnight but Cpl. De Jong is still urging caution.

When you are near the river in these conditions, there are hazards you might not otherwise experience, he says.

The police have yet to identify the kayaker.


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