CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - A P.E.I. man has died after the personal watercraft, also called a Sea Doo, he was operating collided with another off of Charlottetown Harbour on Sunday.
RCMP Sgt. Leanne Butler confirmed the man died Tuesday afternoon and said the collision was still under investigation. The man’s identity has not been released.
Warwick White was on the water at the time of the incident.
While sailing on his friend’s boat in Charlottetown Harbour, White said “at least four” watercraft flew past him, weaving around each other in what he described as a figure eight.
White’s first thought was, “it looks kind of dangerous, do they know what they’re doing?”
Five minutes later, an emergency call came across the boat radio’s open channel.
“Man in the water, not breathing,” said a voice over the airwaves.
Not long after, as his crew returned to the harbour, White saw a victim on shore being worked on by emergency personnel.
“When we arrived back, they carried on giving CPR,” he said. “There was another young man there (too). He was in great grief, he was being consoled by someone.”
White could not say for sure the men in distress were the same people he saw on the personal watercraft.
The RCMP said two men operating personal watercraft, aged 21 and 22, were transported to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Charlottetown Sunday.
The second operator, also from P.E.I., was treated and released from hospital.
Butler said part of the investigation is to determine if the watercraft were rented or owned by the drivers involved in the crash.
“I’m not prepared to say if the ones in the collision are rented or owned, because there was a bunch out there at the same time.”
She did say police are not looking at impairment as a cause. “We don’t believe there was any alcohol involved, no.”
Calls to the Coast Guard and Transport Canada were not returned by deadline.