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Air, water search underway after empty powerboat found drifting off Vancouver

5-metre rental motorboat adrift in English Bay with motor running
The downtown Vancouver skyline is seen in an aerial view from east Vancouver, on Saturday, April 9, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

A drifting and empty rental boat has prompted a full scale search in the waters off Vancouver.

An official with the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre says the search began Wednesday afternoon when the five metre rental motorboat was spotted adrift in English Bay.

The keys were still in the ignition and the throttle was fully engaged but there was no sign of the driver and no indication if any other passengers had been aboard.

Several coast guard vessels, the Vancouver police boat and an air force helicopter took part in Wednesday’s search and the rescue centre says more vessels are expected to volunteer as the search remains active.

Investigators are still working to identify where the boat was rented, although they confirm the trip originated somewhere in Vancouver.

A spokesman with the Rescue Co-ordination Centre says anyone who sees something unusual in the water or on the beaches around English Bay is asked to call the centre or 911.

—The Canadian Press