William Francesco Vant Erve, 29, was a professional firefighter at 19 Wing Comox as well as a volunteer with the Courtenay Fire Department. Photo submitted

Comox firefighter dies outdoor adventuring on Island’s West Coast

19 Wing noted William Vant Erve, 29, passed away from an accident while climbing in Tofino area

The BC Coroners Service has confirmed they are investigating following the death of a Canadian Armed Forces member from 19 Wing Comox.

William Francesco Vant Erve, 29, was a professional firefighter at the base as well as a volunteer with the Courtenay Fire Department.

Capt. Brad Little, public affairs officer with 19 Wing noted in a statement Vant Erve passed away from an accident while climbing on Vancouver Island.

Andy Watson of the BC Coroners Service said while they are currently investigating, it is premature for the service to confirm if the death was accidental, but did acknowledge the statement from the 19 Wing. He noted police have indicated the death is not considered suspicious.

Watson added the death took place in the Alberni-Clayoquot region of Vancouver Island in the backcountry.

Vant Erve is remembered by the 19 Wing Green Crew as a “kind and humble man who would drop whatever he was doing to help another person.”

The statement released by the military also noted that “Will was always willing to cook for the crew, and never shied away from a harmless practical joke or an impersonation of his peers. In addition to mountaineering, Will was a mountain biker and motorcycle enthusiast, a parachutist, fisherman and amateur chief.”

Vant Erve is survived by his parents, spouse, sisters, grandmother, godparents and family members.

A vigil is set for Dec. 4 between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the Comox Valley Funeral Home (1101 Ryan Road); the funeral at 11 a.m. on Dec. 5 at Christ the King Catholic Church (1599 Tunner Dr.) with a reception to follow immediately after.



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