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Man drowns in Alouette River

A father out with his family drowned while swimming the Alouette River in Pitt Meadows Monday.

The man in his 40s was trying to swim across the river near Harris Road when he went under around 5:45 p.m.

"This led to a call out to the local search and rescue organization and the Canada Coast Guard," said RCMP Regional Duty Officer Inspector Byron Massie.

Twelve volunteers with Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue assisted the Pitt Meadows Fire Department and RCMP until a Coast Guard hovercraft arrived on scene.

The man was located under water by a coast guard diver. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The B.C. Coroner's Service is trying determine why the man drowned. He was swimming in an area that is a popular cooling off spot in the summer. Swimmers often dive off a bridge that crosses the Alouette.

"The Alouette was calm and flat," said Search and rescue manager Rick Laing, adding that the deepest parts of river are between 12 to 18 feet.

The man had entered the river on the south side and was paddling across to the north side when he disappeared under water about three-quarters of the way.

"It's hard to say if this death was preventable because we don't the circumstances," said Laing.

RCMP have yet to confirm whether the man was a resident of Port Coquitlam. His name has not been released.

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