UPDATE: Woman dies while tubing on Cowichan River; officials urge use of life jackets

UPDATE: Woman dies while tubing on Cowichan River; officials urge use of life jackets

Investigation ongoing

A 50 year-old woman from Duncan is dead after a tubing incident on the Cowichan River on July 8.

The as yet unidentified woman had allegedly passed the “pull out” zone while rafting down the river and entered an area of rough water, where she attempted to make her way to the side and exit the tube.

She was unsuccessful and unfortunately became trapped under water.

A 33 year-old man she was tubing with was able to pull her from the water and began resuscitation attempts until emergency personnel could arrive.

The woman was transferred by air ambulance to Victoria General Hospital where she died the next morning.

The Lake Cowichan RCMP with assistance from the BC Coroners Service continue to investigate the circumstances around this drowning.

Anybody who witnessed the incident is being asked to contact the Lake Cowichan RCMP at 250-749-6668.

The incident comes on the heels of an similar accident on Canada Day on the Cowichan River when a 46-year-old man nearly died when he and the raft he was on got caught under a tree that had fallen into the river.

The man was rescued only after the cooperative efforts of people who were in the area at the time.

RCMP Cpl. Janelle Shoihet, a media relations officer with E Division, said people should always have safety foremost on their minds when in water, whether it be in the ocean or on a river.

She said people should always wear life preservers, even if they seem close to shore.

“If someone comes out of their raft or tube, it’s very important that they are able to float to safety,” she said.

“Whether people are good swimmers or not, the Cowichan River has some rapid sections where it’s hard to get out of the water. We also advise people to have others with you while in the water, and to obey all the signs.”