Former Parksville police officer dies in diving accident

Paul Voisine served with the RCMP For more than 30 years

The flag in front of Nanaimo RCMP detachment is flying at half staff as Mounties mourn the death of a comrade.

Cpl. Paul Voisine, 50, was off-duty and on a recreational scuba diving trip with five others at an artificial reef near Snake Island Wednesday. He was found unconscious on the deck of the sunken vessel HMCS Saskatchewan at about 11:45 a.m.

Other divers tried to help Voisine with his breathing as he was brought to the surface, where he was given first aid treatment until help from Nanaimo Coast Guard Auxiliary and B.C. ambulance paramedics arrived.

Voisine never regained consciousness.

An autopsy was scheduled for later this week.

Voisine served with the RCMP for more than 30 years. He spent much of his career working in various detachments in the B.C. Kootenays. He later transferred to Parksville detachment and finally to Nanaimo in 2010 where he worked as a road supervisor.

Supt. Norm McPhail, officer in charge of Nanaimo RCMP detachment, worked with Voisine in 2003 in the B.C. Interior.

“He was a very solid police officer and has been so for over 30 years,” McPhail said, adding Voisine had many years diving experience.

“This was a recreational dive with personal equipment,” McPhail said.

Voisine’s death came as a shock to the detachment.

“My heartfelt sympathy goes out to the family,” McPhail said. “These are very difficult situations. It’s very difficult on the officers working and the staff supporting and the community at large. When things like this occur it’s just a sad situation.”

— Nanaimo News Bulletin