Inquest to be held for drowned officer

An inquest will be held into the death of RCMP Const. Michael Potvin, the Yukon's chief Coroner Sharon Hanley announced this week.

An inquest will be held into the death of RCMP Const. Michael Potvin, the Yukon’s chief Coroner Sharon Hanley announced this week.

The 26-year-old Mountie drowned on July 13, 2010 after his boat capsized on the Stewart River at Mayo.

At the time, he was wearing soft body armour and a duty belt that included a firearm, baton and handcuffs.

The belt, which according to RCMP policy has to be worn at all times, weighed roughly 24 pounds.

But it was also RCMP policy to wear personal flotation devices when using a watercraft.

Neither Potvin and the other officer, who was driving the boat, were wearing life jackets.

The inquest is being held to help prevent a similar death in the future, said Hanley.

“And it’s also of the public interest. I believe that the facts need to be aired and in a public way.”

The inquest begins May 14 at the High Country Inn in Whitehorse.

It’s expected to last four to five days. It’s normal for it to take this long to call an inquest, said Hanley.

“We like to get them done within two years of their death and we’ll do that,” she said.

“We’ve been having an inquest almost every year. We’re a small jurisdiction so we get them done as quickly as we can.”

Contact Chris Oke at

chriso@yukon-news.com

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