Nfld. & Labrador

RCMP investigating death of man who went overboard outside St. John's harbour

A 61-year-old man went overboard from a pilot boat meeting a vessel coming into port, say police.

61-year-old man went overboard from pilot boat meeting vessel coming into port, say police

The RCMP are investigating the death of a 61-year-old man who went overboard outside St. John's harbour early Tuesday morning. (Submitted by Anne Madden)

The RCMP are investigating the death of a man who went overboard outside St. John's harbour from a pilot boat early Tuesday morning.

According to a media release from the RCMP on Tuesday afternoon, the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary received a report of a man overboard around 12:30 a.m. NT. 

The RCMP, which has jurisdiction in Canadian territorial waters, has taken over the investigation and is working with the Transportation Safety Board of Canada, Occupational Health and Safety and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

The RCMP released few details Tuesday afternoon, apart from noting the man was 61 years old.

A press release from a Canadian Coast Guard spokesperson said the Maritime Search and Rescue Sub-centre in St. John's sent a coast guard rescue craft and other vessels in the area to the scene, around 3½ kilometres outside the Narrows, and arranged an ambulance.

According to the coast guard, the MV Virginia Ann recovered the man from the water and took him to emergency medical services on shore.

A statement Tuesday afternoon from Canship Ugland, a Canadian ship management company based in Paradise, N.L., said the man was a crew member on one of their boats.

The statement said their boat had finished transferring the pilot to the incoming vessel when the man went into the water. The man was dead when he was pulled from the water.

Canship Ugland president Marco Ahrens said in the statement the company is focused on ensuring the man's family has the support they need.

"We will investigate what happened in co-operation with the authorities. At this time, we will continue to support our employees and the affected family members," said Ahrens in the statement.

The statement says Canship Ugland operates pilot boats for the Atlantic Pilotage Authority in St. John's Harbour.

The authority's CEO, Sean Griffiths, said in the statement that APA is "deeply saddened by the death of a friend and crew member."

"Our thoughts are with his family and loved ones," said Griffiths in statement. "The safety of our people remains our priority. We will do everything we can to support the efforts of the authorities as they investigate this incident and want to ensure this never happens again."

The man's cause of death has not been released.

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

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