Police rescue 'emotionally distraught' man from Capilano River

May 22 2019, 3:06 pm

Police have rescued and apprehended what they’re describing as an “emotionally distraught” man from the Capilano River.

On Monday, May 20 at 8 am, members of the West Vancouver Police Department (WVPD) say they received a report of a suspicious man.

He was sitting on a sand bar in the middle of the Capilano River, just south of the Wardance Bridge.

The caller who made the report was especially concerned and described the man as fully clothed, soaking wet, and sitting with his head in his knees.

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Police report arriving on scene and attempted to verbally communicate with the man, although he ignored all offers for help.

He then jumped into the fast-moving river and began to swim downstream.

Following the individual, officers dropped a rope and a lifejacket from a train bridge. The man briefly took hold of the lifejacket, stripped himself of his clothing, and then let go, continuing to drift towards the river.

Nearly an hour later, with the assistance of the VPD’s Marine Unit, who sent two officers into the water, police were able to encourage the man to swim to shore at Ambleside Park.

Police say he was apprehended under the Mental Health Act without incident and was transported to the hospital.

“This person was clearly in crisis,” says Constable Kevin Goodmurphy, WVPD Spokesperson. “As a result of the coordinated efforts, he was able to be safely taken into custody and provided with the appropriate care.”

According to a media release, the man had no apparent injuries.