Sara Manitoski, a Grade 11 student in the integrated studies outdoor education program, died in her sleep Tuesday night, during a scheduled midweek overnight excursion to Tribune Bay Outdoor Education Centre on Hornby Island.
The girl, a student at G.P. Vanier Secondary in Courtenay, was part of an overnight trip to the Tribune Bay Outdoor Education Centre, said Paul Berry, the school district’s director of health and safety.
She reportedly seemed happy after a day full of activities at the centre Tuesday, but was found unresponsive around 7:30 Wednesday morning.
Centre staff and teachers tried to revive the girl, and called 9-1-1 but their efforts were unsuccessful.
“You can imagine the trauma for these kids and staff involved,” School District 71 Health & Safety Director Paul Berry says, “just a horrible tragedy for this family and every one involved.”
Manitowski did not appear to have any underlying health issues. Her class was brought back to the school yesterday, Berry says counsellors are now on hand to support students and staff.
A message posted on social media by Vanier Student Government reads;
“Sara was a beautiful soul who touched everyone she met and she will be greatly missed at this school.
“We hope that you all choose to remember the numerous good things about Sara rather than focusing on the sad.”
The case has been turned over to the RCMP and the BC Coroners’ Service.
No details on funeral arrangements were available at press time.