Port Coquitlam student, 17, drowns in treacherous waters
By Aaron Guillen, Staff Reporter
On March 28, disaster struck at Lynn Canyon in North Vancouver when 17-year-old Cole Marsh drowned in the canyon’s river.
“We didn’t see him for a little while, and started to get worried,” Jara Holownia, a witness interviewed by CTV News. “Then he reappeared and looked like he was in trouble, and he started waving.”
Response teams first arriving to the scene noted that Marsh, who had apparently climbed over a safety fence and jumped into the brisk water, was then clinging onto a rock, after about half an hour since his jump. Before a rescue crew could reach him, Marsh had disappeared under the water and didn’t resurface.
It was at that time when RCMP officers began reasoning that the young man had drowned. What began as a rescue mission had turned into a somber recovery attempt. Unfortunately, the North Shore Rescue Team determined that water levels were too high and currents too strong for a safe recovery.
While rescue teams remain regulating the Lynn Canyon waters for an ideal time to retrieve Marsh’s body, RCMP issue a warning to all adventurous people searching for their next thrill.
“It’s a tragedy every year,” says Sgt. Doug Trousdell, a North Vancouver RCMP officer, to CTV.
“We have incidents of people falling or jumping and being hurt or killed in the creek here. We’ve got markers and plaques all over the park for people who have died in years past.”
Marsh, a high school senior and lacrosse player at Terry Fox Secondary School, was beloved by his peers and mentors. Several classmates noted his genuine personality made anyone feel welcome and accepted.
“Cole really was an amazing guy. And I know you hear that about everyone who dies—‘Yeah, they were so great and caring and compassionate’—but he really was,” Brianagh Flesher explained in an email to the Vancouver Sun. “He really went out of his way to make people happy.”
“I’ve been cliff jumping hundreds of times with Cole,” said Tyler Simmons, one of Marsh’s best friends.
“I told him multiple times it was too early in the season. The one time he goes without me, this happens. He didn’t listen. That’s why I loved him. We always talked each other into doing the craziest things.”