Central Okanagan  

Father drowns while saving kids

RCMP say a man who drowned in Wood Lake Saturday afternoon was a father from the Yukon. The victim's name has not been released, but police say he was a 42-year-old man from Whitehorse.

Vernon Search and Rescue located the body with underwater sonar and held it in place until the RCMP dive team arrived to make the recovery on Saturday, just before 6 p.m.

The man’s body, a 42-year-old resident of Whitehorse, Yukon, was located in a depth of 16 feet of water about 50 feet from the south shore of Wood Lake.


On Saturday at 2:09 p.m. the Lake Country RCMP, the Lake Country Volunteer Fire Department and the BC Ambulance Service responded to a report of 3 swimmers in distress in Wood Lake near the Kokanee Beach Resort.
Investigators determined that 3 boys, ages 9 thru 11-years-old, were swimming just off shore and were being called in by their mother when they were suddenly carried further out into Wood Lake by the strong currents of the Vernon Creek.  The boys mother yelled for help and other family members, including the father of 2 of the boys, entered the water to assist.
The 3 boys along with their cousin and grand father were rescued by operators of a nearby paddle boat. Unfortunately, the boys father disappeared beneath the surface of the water and was presumed drowned.
At 5:56 p.m. Vernon Search and Rescue located the man’s body, a 42-year-old resident of Whitehorse, in a depth of 16 feet of water approximately 50 feet from the south shore of Wood Lake.  The RCMP Underwater Recovery Team (Dive Team) with the assistance of the RCMP Air Services, the Lake Country Volunteer Fire Department and Vernon Search and Rescue (SAR) completed the recovery.  
The victim's identity is not being released at this time by the RCMP.  Further release of information will be provided by the BC Coroners Services when appropriate.

4:30 p.m.: A bystander who attempted to help is currently missing and presumed drowned on Wood Lake.

The incident, which took place at about 2 p.m. this afternoon, occurred at the northern-most end of the lake, near Oyama according to an RCMP spokesman.

Apparently two swimmers experienced difficulty when they were caught in the current at the north end of the lake where a creek flows into Wood Lake. At least one onlooker tried to provide assistance at that time. Both swimmers were eventually rescued, but the third person who had attempted to help was then found to be missing.

At press time a massive search for the missing person was underway and involved units from the Lake Country Fire Department, Lake Country and Kelowna RCMP as well as a helicopter, Kelowna Search and Rescue Services and an RCMP dive team.

The age and sex of the missing person has not been verified at this point.

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