A man’s belongings were located on the Salt Spring-Crofton ferry but he was nowhere to be found. (Citizen file)

A man’s belongings were located on the Salt Spring-Crofton ferry but he was nowhere to be found. (Citizen file)

Possible man overboard delays Crofton-Vesuvius ferry

Air and water search and rescue teams called out to police incident

A military search and rescue helicopter and several boats scoured the waters off Crofton on Thursday night after the belongings of a man were on the ferry but he was nowhere to be found.

The Howe Sound Queen, which runs between Vesuvius and Crofton had docked in Crofton and all of the vessel’s passengers had already disembarked when the man’s items were found, leading to speculation about the possibility he may have fallen or jumped off the boat. B.C. Ferries has confirmed there was a police incident leading to delays on the route.

“What happened just before 6 p.m. was that B.C. Ferries reported a possible missing person,” said Katelyn Moores, a spokesperson for the Victoria Joint Rescue Coordination Centre. “Some baggage was found left behind and they were concerned the person could have gone overboard.”

Surveillance camera video showed the man boarding the vessel on the Salt Spring side but he was not initially seen walking off at Crofton.

“After reviewing some more extensive video, they found the person they were looking for did in fact depart,” Moores explained.

At that point the search was called off.

Moores said the short search was a group effort.

“We had a cormorant helicopter from Canadian Forces Base Comox, two Canadian Coast Guard vessels and two Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue vessels involved,” she said.

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