Volunteers joined search and rescue crews to search for three missing Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation fishermen whose vessel sank near Tofino on June 15. (Photo - Andrew Bailey)

Human remains discovered near Tofino

The remains were discovered near the area that a vessel carrying five men sank on June 15.

The B.C. Coroners Service is investigating human remains discovered near Echachist Island on Wednesday.

“I can confirm that we’re in the early stages of an investigation involving unidentified human remains found yesterday,” Coroners Service communications manager Andy Watson told the Westerly News on Thursday afternoon. “The remains were discovered in the water. We are currently doing the work to determine the identity of the deceased.”

Echachist Island is near the area that a vessel carrying five men sank on June 15. Two of the men reached shore safely, but three others remain unaccounted for. A GoFundMe Page for the families of the three missing men was launched on June 20 and had raised $38,428 of its $90,000 goal on July 19.

Watson said it is too early to determine whether the discovered remains are related to the June 15 sinking.

“At this stage, it’s too early for us to say whether or not they’re related,” Watson said. “We’re in the very early stages of our investigation and we’re working hard to identify the identity right now.”

He declined to give a timeline for the remains to be identified.

“We never like to speculate on timeline, because so many factors can come into play,” he said.

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