UPDATE: The boy has been identified. Read more: http://cbc.ca/1.2564463


A six-year-old boy who died after being pulled from Taylor Creek in North Vancouver Thursday afternoon had recovered from a previous near-drowning incident, CBC News has learned.

The boy and his family have not been publicly identified by police, but the child was described by a family friend as a curious child who loved exploring things.

RCMP spokesman Cpl. Richard De Jong said the incident was a terrible tragedy and no foul play is suspected.

"This is a most tragic incident that affects all of us," De Jong said.

"It speaks to just the most devastating event that could happen to a parent, is to lose a six-year-old boy in an incident like this, in a creek at a time when the creeks are running very swift, they're running very high and in spite of all the efforts that took place, he did die."

The area in Garibaldi Park where the boy fell into the fast-running creek was not fenced off, unlike other sections of the creek, and leaves along the steep embankment made the area very slippery.

At the entrance to Garibaldi Park on Friday morning, flowers and stuffed animals were placed next to the sign as a memorial to the drowned boy.

Police respond to frantic call

The incident began on Thursday afternoon when North Vancouver RCMP received a frantic call from a mother who lives on Bowron Court, reporting that her boy had gone missing from where he was playing, just before 2 p.m. PT. 

"Our members attended the scene and quickly learned where the child was playing and did a search of the area," said Sgt. Darrin Ramey.

"A witness who was walking her dog located the child in the creek face down."

Bowron Court

The boy had wandered away from this apartment complex on Bowron Court in North Vancouver. He was found half an hour after disappearing, face down in a nearby creek. (CBC/Steve Lus)

Ramey said two police officers were right beside the woman and jumped into the stream in water up to their necks.

They pulled the boy out and began CPR.

The ambulance showed up a minute later but, Ramey said it was impossible to say how long the boy was in the water. The boy was immediately airlifted to B.C Children's Hospital in Vancouver, but he did not survive.

Ramey said the creek was about three metres wide and running fast with all the recent rainfall. The water had risen to the top of the creek's banks and was a metre and a half deep in the area where the boy was found.

Twitter: Flowers and teddy left at memorial for drowned boy

With files from Luke Brocki and Steve Lus