WVPD Apprehend Emotionally Distraught Man in Capilano River




File #:


Cst. Kevin Goodmurphy



West Vancouver Police officers, with the assistance of the Vancouver Police Marine Unit, apprehended an emotionally distraught man after he jumped into the Capilano River and drifted out to sea.

West Vancouver – On May 20, 2019 at 8:00 am, West Vancouver Police received a report of a suspicious man who was seated on a sand bar in the middle of the Capilano River, just South of the Wardance Bridge. The caller was concerned as the man was fully clothed, soaking wet, and seemed distraught with his head in his knees.

WVPD officers attended and attempted to make voice contact with the man, who seemed to ignore any offer of help. He then jumped into the frigid moving river, and began swimming downstream.

Concerned that he may be wanting to hurt himself, WVPD officers dropped a rope and lifejacket from a train bridge downstream. The man briefly took hold of the lifejacket while he removed his clothing, and then let go, drifting towards the mouth of the river. He continued to ignore offers of assistance, now from BC Ambulance as well as West Vancouver Fire & Rescue who had arrived on scene.

WVPD requested the assistance of the Vancouver Police Marine Unit who dispatched a crew from Vancouver.

At 8:43 am, with the assistance of VPD Marine Unit who sent two officers into the water, WVPD officers were able to encourage the man to swim to shore at Ambleside Park, where he was apprehended under the Mental Health Act without incident.  He was later transported to hospital by Ambulance with no apparent injuries and left in the care of physicians.

“This was an excellent example of teamwork by all first responders who assisted with this incident,” says Constable Kevin Goodmurphy, WVPD spokesperson. “This person was clearly in crisis, and as a result of the coordinated efforts, he was able to be safely taken into custody and provided with the appropriate care.”

WVPD is proud to work alongside other Metro Vancouver Emergency Services providers, such as BC Ambulance, West Vancouver Fire & Rescue, and Vancouver Police, in an effort to provide seamless services to our community.