05/21/2012 03:53 EDT | Updated 07/21/2012 05:12 EDT

CFB Esquimalt member dies in scuba diving accident

A member of CFB Esquimalt died Saturday while scuba diving off the coast of Vancouver Island.

Richard Boileau, 47, drowned Saturday after getting into trouble while diving with two friends in Brentwood Bay. The two other divers with him attempted a rescue, but were unsuccessful.

Boileau was a Chief Petty Officer with the HMCS Victoria, a submarine based in Esquimalt.

"He'll be missed," said Commander Christopher Ellis, the commanding officer of HMCS Victoria.

"We're a very small crew, a tight crew, and when anyone, one of our crew members, or a key member especially like this, is lost like this, it's felt in the unit."

Ellis says Boileau was on a recreational dive at the time that was not connected to his duties.

His equipment has been sent to the Canadian Coast Guard for testing to determine if an equipment failure caused the accident. Officials say an autopsy might be performed.