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Vernon  

Coroner's report on Kal Lake drownings

Many months have passed since the bodies of two men were pulled from Kal Lake, now the BC Coroner is painting a better picture on what went wrong. 

We did learn of the men's identity last spring, but little had come forward on the exact cause of death. 

BC Coroner Margaret Janzen has determined that ill-fitting life jackets and moderate intoxication were the major factors in the deaths of the two men who drowned in Kal Lake after their boat capsized.

In her report she says the two friends, Albert James Castanelli 47, and Frederick Basil Marshall 50, both died from asphyxia due to drowning.

On May 22, 2013 in the early morning a concerned citizen discovered a dead dog washed up on the shore of Cosens Bay on Kalamalka Lake.

The citizen told emergency personnel that there had been a short, but severe storm the night before and he was fearful a boat with people and the dog in it may have capsized.

RCMP and Vernon Search and Rescue launched a search and eventually discovered both men and their overturned 12-foot aluminum McCulloch fishing boat in the lake.

The two men were camping in an area of the lake only accessible by boat and were supposed to return for pick-up by the boat owner on May 21, 2013.

During the afternoon of May 21, as planned, the men texted their friend on the other side of the lake to arrange pick up.

They planned a pickup time, but the men eventually stopped texting and never made it to the other side.

The coroner says both men were wearing life jackets, but they were too large and improperly fitted to be effective.

It was also determined that their boat was too small and overloaded, leaving it low in the water and easier to capsize.

“The toxicology examination revealed a blood alcohol concentration of 0.10 % consistent with a moderate level of intoxication,” said Janzen.

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