VANCOUVER – One man has died after he was swept away by the Capilano River Saturday afternoon.

The tragic accident happened Sunday afternoon as four friends, all in their 30s, spent time fishing on the North Vancouver river, said Peter DeVries, media liaison officer with North Vancouver RCMP.

When one of them got his line snagged, he tried to walk across the river, but lost his footing and was carried away downstream. His friend jumped into the river to try to help, but could not reach him in time, DeVries said.

"Luckily, the friend who went to help him was able to cling on to a rock and the other two friends were able to rescue him, but the fourth friend was washed further downstream,” DeVries said.

BC Emergency Health Services told CTV News Vancouver the call came in shortly before 12:50 p.m. Three ambulance crews responded, including one advanced paramedic team.

When firefighters arrived at the scene, witnesses said they had seen two people in the river, one of whom had been swept away.

Fire crews worked quickly to search the river for the missing man, said Wayne Kennedy, deputy chief with the District of North Vancouver Fire Department. Firefighters also deployed a rescue boat in their search, he said.

The man who was swept away was taken to St. Paul's Hospital in critical condition but has since passed away, DeVries said.

Kennedy said the incident serves as a reminder of the importance of taking safety precautions when enjoying the North Shore wilderness.

"Keep your personal safety in mind," he said. "For the fisherman here today, the use of a personal flotation device could have been a difference-maker for the result that we had today."

DeVries echoed that warning, adding that rivers like Capilano are powerful and dangerous, but can look deceptive on a beautiful sunny autumn day.

"It’s very important that people remember to take those safety precautions like wearing a life jacket any time you’re near the water," DeVries said.