The BC Coroners Service has confirmed the identity of a man who died following a kayaking incident in the ocean near Union Bay on Dec. 18, 2016.
He was Thomas Butcher, aged 23, of Courtenay.
Mr. Butcher and a friend set out on a kayaking expedition from Union Bay to Tree Island about 10 p.m. on Dec. 17, 2016. About one kilometre from shore, the two kayaks collided and Mr. Butcher fell into the water. Despite the best efforts of his companion, he could not be rescued. The companion made it successfully to shore and alerted authorities, and a search was immediately launched. The RCMP dive team recovered Mr. Butcher, deceased, from the ocean on the afternoon of Dec. 18, 2016.
The BC Coroners Service and RCMP continue to investigate this death.
The family of Mr. Butcher has been notified of his death. On behalf of family members, the BC Coroners Service asks that the media respect their privacy at this difficult time.