British Columbia

Drowning death in Port Alberni prompts police watchdog investigation

B.C.'s police watchdog has been called in to investigate the drowning of a man in Port Alberni on Thursday.

Man ran away from officers, jumped into river after report he was seen unclothed, covered in blood, police say

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. has cleared the actions of officers in the case of a man who drowned in a Port Alberni river while trying to escape. (CBC)

B.C.'s police watchdog has been called in to investigate the drowning of a man in Port Alberni.

RCMP said a local business owner called police around 3 a.m. PT. Thursday to say an unclothed man covered in blood had just left their store, according to a statement. The caller said the man was cleaning himself off at a local car wash.

Mounties said when officers located him, the man ran away from them.

"[He] refused to stop before jumping into a nearby river," read the statement released Thursday. 

RCMP officers tried to reach the man, but he drowned. The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is now investigating to determine whether police actions or inactions are linked to the man's death.

The B.C. Coroners Service was also called to the scene.

now