One man is dead and two other people are in critical condition in a Vancouver hospital following a boating accident in Victoria on Thursday.

Police were called to the Gorge waterway around 5 p.m. PT after onlookers reported hearing people in the water shouting for help.

The three people were in a dinghy that flipped as they rowed to shore from a boat moored out in the Gorge, a protected saltwater inlet north of Victoria Harbour.

One Victoria police officer jumped into the water to rescue a woman in her 40s and a man in his 60s from the chilly water, according to Staff Sgt. Andrew Lakon.

"They were in the water for a long time, and they were incoherent when we pulled them out of the water," said Lakon. "They were obviously both still alive. One was conscious; one was unconscious. But they were certainly suffering the effects of being in the water."

Rescuers couldn't find the other man who had been on the boat. Divers eventually found his body underwater around 9 p.m.

The two survivors were airlifted to Vancouver General Hospital for treatment for serious hypothermia and are now in hospital in a drug-induced coma, Lakon said.

None of the people involved were wearing a life jacket, he said.