Canadian navy officer deployed overseas found dead in hotel

The HMCS Toronto pulls into Goderich harbor as part of a Canadian Forces publicity tour. (QMI...

The HMCS Toronto pulls into Goderich harbor as part of a Canadian Forces publicity tour. (QMI Agency FILES)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:57 PM ET

An off-duty naval officer with the Canadian Armed Forces was found dead Thursday in his hotel room during a port visit overseas by the HMCS Toronto.

Navy Lt. Andrew F. Webster, who was based out of CFB Halifax, was on shore leave when he was found dead at 12:15 p.m. in Victoria, the capital of the Seychelles, a 115-island country in the Indian Ocean.

The Department of National Defence said in a statement that the "circumstances surrounding the death are unknown at this time, although enemy action has been ruled out and foul play is not suspected."

Local authorities are investigating.

"I would like to express my heartfelt condolences to Lt. Webster's family, friends and colleagues," Defence Minister Rob Nicholson said in a statement. "The loss of any member of the Canadian Armed Forces is tragic and affects each and every one of us on the defence team.

"As we mourn the loss of Lt. Webster, the Canadian Armed Forces' family will ensure that support is provided for those left behind during their time of need."

Chief of the Defence Staff Gen. Tom Lawson said he was "deeply saddened" by the death.

The warship HMCS Toronto is taking part in Operation ARTEMIS, a multinational maritime counter-terrorism force operating in the Arabian Sea, and left Halifax on Jan. 14, 2013, with a crew of about 225.

On Dec. 18, HMCS Toronto was instrumental in seizing 538 kilograms of heroin, worth $100 million on the street, from a "suspect vessel" in the Arabian Sea off the east coast of Africa -- the largest heroin seizure in the history of the Combined Maritime Forces operations.