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RCMP take over search for missing person after boat capsizes near Bella Bella

A small boat on the waters near Bella Coola in an undated file photo.
A small boat on the waters near Bella Coola in an undated file photo. Jon Azpiri/Global News

RCMP have now taken over the search for a person who went into the water with five others after their boat capsized near Bella Bella Friday.

The Victoria Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre (JRCC) says the boat started taking on water around 10 a.m., eventually sinking south of Humchitt Island.

Humchitt Island is seen in relation to Bella Bella in the northwest.
Humchitt Island is seen in relation to Bella Bella in the northwest. Google Maps

READ MORE: Woman seriously hurt after boat crash at north end of Indian Arm, B.C.

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The five survivors were wearing lifejackets, a JRCC spokesperson confirmed, and managed to swim to the island’s shore. They were later picked up by an American ferry.

The missing person was not wearing a lifejacket, the spokesperson added.

Canadian Forces personnel, Coast Guard aircraft and Coast Guard vessels are all involved in the search, which remained ongoing by Friday evening.

READ MORE: Life jacket found, Calgary boater presumed dead after Columbia River capsizing: RCMP

On Saturday, the JRCC said the search was suspended overnight, and the case was handed off to Bella Bella RCMP as a missing person case.

RCMP said they are investigating, but added the “extremely unfavourable” weather has made searching the area difficult.

Police also believe the boat’s captain is the person missing.

The BC Coroner has been advised of the incident, but police said it is not yet a coroner’s file.

WATCH (June 16, 2018): Search for missing Tofino boaters

Search for missing Tofino boaters
Search for missing Tofino boaters

The JRCC would not give the ages or genders of the missing person or the survivors.

The cause of the accident is also not yet known.

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