Body found near Hot Springs Cove

Eric Plummer, January 21, 2020

(Eric Plummer photo)

Hot Springs Cove, BC — 

Two days after the search began for a man missing from Hot Springs Cove, his body was recovered from the area.

Today the BC Coroners Service reported that the body of a man in his 50s was found on Jan. 7 near Hot Springs Cove, which is located 36 kilometres northwest of Tofino and accessible only by boat or float plane.

“The male in his 50s is from Tofino,” said Andy Watson of the Coroners Service. “It doesn’t look like there’s anything suspicious related to the death.”

The body was found by the RCMP’s marine section and dive team, and Watson said that police have backed away from the case, allowing the Coroners Service to determine the cause.

“We’re fully investigating this again to determine how, where, when and by what means he came to his death,” he said. “I don’t know if he was found in the water or if he was found on land.”

The discovery follows the disappearance of Dan Kortes, who was last seen on Jan. 4 chopping wood near his cabin in Hot Springs Cove. According to police, Kortes lived aboard a trawler boat while building a cabin on shore. A search from the RCMP, Canadian Coast Guard as well as the Hesquiaht and Ahousaht First Nations ensued, and friends found Kortes’ dog in Hot Springs Cove on Jan. 5.

The discovery has ended the search for Kortes, said Corp. Chris Manseau of RCMP Media Relations.

“We’ve confirmed that the body we found has ended our missing person review,” he said. “Now it’s up to the coroner to determine the cause of death of that missing person.”