Couple pulled from lake

Colton Davies

An older couple was rescued from Okanagan Lake Saturday by several quick-thinking passing motorists.

Just before 11 a.m., Chris Sayles was driving along the snow covered and slippery Highway 97, between Penticton and Summerland, when he came upon a minivan that had just lost control and plunged into the lake.

“I must have just missed it occur,” Sayles said.

He pulled over and rushed to the minivan, along with about five others who had also pulled over.

“We just kind of formed an impromptu human chain and the driver already had the door open and we were able to get her pretty easy, and then the passenger kind of had to crawl over, swim, through the driver's door,” Sayles said.

A few of the rescuers, including Sayles, were up to their waists in the water as they rushed to get the pair out of the van, but Sayles said he didn't notice the cold water at the time.

Once they had the couple out of the water, they rushed them into one of the rescuers' van, and covered them in blankets to warm them up. 

Sayles said the elderly man who was in the passenger seat when the minivan plunged into the lake was complaining of chest injuries. Both were taken to the hospital in an ambulance, but the extent of their injuries is unknown. 

The crash was one of many that occurred throughout the Okanagan Saturday, as heavy snow blanketed the valley. 

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