The Canadian Coast Guard is searching for a man who went missing diving off the Winchelsea Islands off Nanaimo. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)

The Canadian Coast Guard is searching for a man who went missing diving off the Winchelsea Islands off Nanaimo. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)

Search underway for diver who went missing near Nanaimo

Diver did not surface as expected near Winchelsea Islands

An extensive search is underway for a diver who disappeared while on a recreational dive near Nanaimo earlier today.

According to an RCMP press release, the incident occurred at about 10 a.m. Friday, Aug. 13, in the Winchelsea Islands area.

Due to a language barrier, there was a delay in reporting the incident, but investigators have learned that two men were on a 14-foot vessel and one of the two was diving. When the diver did not surface when expected, his friend on the boat called an person on shore who eventually called 911.

The Canadian Coast Guard is currently searching the area with its hovercraft and helicopter, while a Canadian Coast Guard vessel is in the water along with a volunteer rescue crew and ground-based search and rescue personnel are searching the immediate coastline, the release noted.

The missing diver, in his 40s, is of Asian descent and speaks little English. He is wearing a black wet suit and has a diving tank attached.

“He has a 36-hour survivability rate in the suit,” said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of the missing diver is asked to call 911 or the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345 and quote file No. 2021-30371.

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