RCMP say a teenage boy is dead after falling into the water near the Lynn Canyon suspension bridge. 

"This has gone from a rescue operation to a recovery operation based on the fact that he's been under the water for over an hour," said Sgt. Doug Trousdell with North Vancouver RCMP.

Several people called North Vancouver RCMP at around 4:30 p.m. PT on Monday.

"He was clinging to the rock above the pool for about half an hour while rescuers were trying to get to a place where they could rescue him, and ultimately he dropped from that spot into the creek," Trousdell said.

He said the water in the creek is very cold and the teenager was likely fatigued. 

Witnesses say the young man had jumped from a cliff about 50 metres into the water. 

Trousdell said the teenager has been identified but police are waiting to contact his family before releasing his name. 

He said the swimmer would have had to climb past barriers and down a long way to get to the "very precarious spot" where he was. 

"The pools are very treacherous here and it's incredibly difficult to get to the spot where he was," Trousdell said. 

The teenager was with two female friends when the tragedy occurred, he added. 

'Shocking' jump

Jade Holownia was visiting the area with his wife and children when he saw the young man standing on a cliff near the bridge in a swimsuit, with a pair of flip flops in his hand. 

"We were just a bit appalled," he said. 

Holownia said he saw the young man jump into the water.

"He looked to be OK. He kind of was having fun," he said. "It was still pretty shocking to see him jump because it's a long ways down."

Holownia said he called 911 shortly after he saw the young man holding onto the edge of the rock near a deep pool of swirling water.

"I thought this can't be good. It's got to be freezing cold water. He's probably stuck and can't get out of the current there," he said.

Holownia said rescue crews arrived within five to 10 minutes, but he didn't see the young man get pulled out of the water.

He said there were about 10 to 12 people on the bridge at the time. 

Lynn Canyon is known to be a dangerous temptation for thrill-seekers. Many have taken the risk of jumping into the waters, and many have died.

Police are once again warning the public to avoid cliff-jumping.

"All I can say is, be mindful of these signs," said Trousdell. "We've got markers and plaques all around the parks for people who have died in years past."

Police divers are scheduled to resume the search for the young man's body on Tuesday morning.