A Mexican exchange student staying with a North Vancouver host family is dead after a tumble from a set of waterfalls at the top of Indian Arm.
The 16-year-old was swimming at the top of the Granite Falls around 5 p.m. Sunday when he was suddenly swept over, falling approximately 50 feet. Nearby witnesses, including off-duty nurses, tried to revive the boy but his injuries were too severe, according to Coquitlam RCMP. Canadian Coast Guard members and paramedics attended the scene and confirmed the student's injuries were fatal. The B.C. Coroners Service is now investigating the exact cause of death and working with Mexico's consul general in Vancouver for the return of the boy's body.
Though they are not releasing his name, the North Vancouver school district confirmed the student had just finished Grade 10 at Argyle secondary and that he was enrolled to return for Grade 11 in September.
"We are deeply shocked and saddened to learn of the tragedy at Granite Falls. Our thoughts and sympathies are with the young man's family and our staff is in contact with them, as well as with local authorities and the consulate, to provide necessary support and assistance," said Victoria Miles, North Vancouver school district spokeswoman, in a prepared statement. "This young man's tragic death has generated an outpouring of condolences from members of the school community, and we are sharing what we receive with his family back home."
North Vancouver RCMP has offered the assistance of its victim services unit to the boy's host family and the school district's critical incident team has made summer counselling available to Argyle secondary's staff, students and families.
"It's a somewhat unusual situation and there are resources available for students or families who feel they need support," Miles said.
Miles said no one she's spoken with in the school district administration can remember another case of a student dying suddenly while in North Vancouver on exchange.
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