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Water death shocks radio station staff

A woman known to spread happiness has been identified as one of two people killed during a coast guard auxiliary training exercise Sunday near Sechelt, B.C.

Angie Nemeth, who worked at radio station CKAY, and another woman were killed when they were trapped under a search and rescue boat when it flipped in Skookumchuck Narrows, about 110 kilometres northwest of Vancouver.

Nemeth was an avid volunteer and will be greatly missed, said Bob Morris, general manager at CKAY.

He said her death was devastating, not only for her co-workers, but for the small community.

"I think everybody's in shock," he said of the station's small staff.

"I've walked by Angie's office on several occasions, prepared to say hello like we do every other morning and she's just not there."

Investigators with the Transportation Safety Board are trying to determine what caused the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue auxiliary boat to flip.

Two investigators who have experience in the coast guard and with the same type of rigid-hulled inflatable boat have been sent to the area to try to determine what happened.

The boat overturned around the noon hour Sunday, sending four people into the water.

Two men were tossed clear while the two women were trapped under the vessel. The men were rescued by a nearby vessel.

Police haven't released the name of the second victim.

Chris Krepski, with the Transportation Safety Board, said it's too early to say what might have caused the boat to capsize.

"We have two investigators on the scene who are gathering as much information as possible, looking at the vessel itself, gathering information on the sea conditions, the weather, interviewing witnesses," he said.

Once they have that information, Krepski said they'll determine if a full marine investigation should be conducted.

The name Skookumchuck means rapid torrent and only the most experienced boaters are warned away during high tides. The narrows is at the entrance to Sechelt Inlet and during tidal flow large rapids, whitecaps and whirlpools are common.

Morris said Nemeth loved being out on the water and helping both her community and co-workers.

"I'd never, ever seen Angie down," he said. "She was the type of person who would walk into a room and bring the room up. If you were down, you'd just walk into Angie's office and all of a sudden you're happy again."

The Canadian Press


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