VANCOUVER -- A BC Ferries employee died after falling into the Fraser River last week, the company has confirmed.

In an emailed statement, BC Ferries said the worker was at the fleet maintenance unit in Richmond Friday when he fell into the water. 

Police and search and rescue crews recovered his body the next day. 

"This is extremely distressing news for all of us and our hearts go out to his family and friends, to our employees who work at the fleet maintenance unit alongside this person, and to our entire BC Ferries' family," said BC Ferries spokesperson Deborah Marshall in an email. 

WorkSafeBC wouldn't provide details about the situation or how the man fell, but said it had been notified of a "serious workplace incident on Rice Mill Road in Richmond" and an investigation has been launched.

"The purpose of the investigation is to determine the cause of the incident and any contributing factors, to help prevent similar incidents from happening in the future," WorkSafeBC said in an emailed statement.