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Mounties say a man drowned on Sunday near Keats Island after going on a chartered boat with a group of friends.

Emergency Health Services called police at about 4 p.m. after a man was found in medical distress off the northern tip of the small B.C. island. 

Officers arrived at the Gibsons government dock, meeting paramedics, the coast guard and the local fire department who were all helping with the incident. However, the man had died. 

Police say the man was in his 40s and from Richmond. After he and his friends chartered a boat, he went swimming a few minutes before he was found in distress. 

BC Coroners Service is now investigating the incident to determine the official cause of death.