A 52-year-old Edmonton man died while scuba diving off Nanoose Bay on Wednesday, July 20 and officials are just starting what could be a long investigation.
Martin Keith Bishop was on a diving expedition with a dive master and another person during a family vacation to the area, according to a B.C. Coroners Service news release issued Monday.
Oceanside RCMP said the incident was not criminal in nature so the coroners service is investigating.
“Sometimes these (investigations) are quite complex, because one of the things we do in all scuba diving events — unless we know it’s not a factor — is work with the coast guard to do a lot of equipment testing and that can take a while,” Barb McLintock with the coroners service told The NEWS.
The group was at a popular diving area accessed at Tyee Crescent and Blueback Drive when the incident occurred between 1-2 p.m. on Wednesday, July 20.
“It was your basic, something went wrong and we don’t know what it was,” she said, adding that while they sometimes know more than they can release, in this case “we really don’t know what went wrong… but we will endeavour to find out.”
The news release said Bishop “was deceased at the scene.”
Media reports said police were still keeping people away from the site days later while the coroner’s service investigated and retrieved gear.
CTV Vancouver Island reported that “a doctor that came by on scene tried CPR but unfortunately the man died from what was going on.”
This was at least the fourth scuba diving related fatality on Vancouver Island in the last three years, including two in the Nanaimo area in 2013.
The coroners service is continuing to investigate the cause of death.