The driver of a vehicle that plunged into Cowichan Bay Tuesday night is now subject to an impaired driving investigation. (Royal Canadian Marine Search & Rescue - Station 34 - Cowichan photo)

Witnesses watch as pickup drives into Cowichan Bay

Police dive into the bay in rescue attempt

The driver of a vehicle that plunged into Cowichan Bay Tuesday night is now subject to an impaired driving investigation.

Police were called to Hecate Park around 7:45 p.m. after witnesses reported a white pickup truck descending the boat ramp and plunging straight into the sea.

“One man was observed exiting the truck and told officers that his girlfriend was still inside the now sunken vehicle,” said North Cowichan RCMP spokesperson Sgt. Trevor Busch. “A police officer took swift action, diving into the frigid water and swam down to the vehicle in attempts to rescue any remaining occupants.”

But the officer couldn’t find the reported girlfriend.

“Assistance was requested from the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre who dispatched rescue vessels from the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue, as well as the Canadian Coast Guard,” Busch said. The Cowichan Bay Fire Rescue also rushed to the scene.

“Police officers were able to determine that the vehicle was empty and further investigation confirmed that the driver’s girlfriend was safe and at home in her residence in the greater Victoria area.”

Police arrested the driver and he was taken to the hospital where he was later released.

“The investigation into this incident is ongoing and charges will be forwarded to Crown Counsel,” Busch said.

Witnesses are asked to call the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP’s investigators at 250-748-5522.

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