Kayaker case to RCMP

Madison Erhardt

UPDATE: 2:05 p.m.

Search and rescue crews have exhausted all of their efforts over the past few days and the investigation into a missing kayaker has been handed over to West Kelowna RCMP.

Zygmunt Janiewicz, 71, was reported overdue on May 17 at 3:35 p.m. after he failed to return from a paddle on Okanagan Lake.

A Surfski kayak and lifejacket that are believed to have belonged to Janiewicz were recovered from the beach near Watt Road on May 17.

Search and rescue efforts continued throughout much of the Victoria Day long weekend. 

Central Okanagan Search and Rescue crews searched Okanagan Lake during daylight hours on the shore, by foot, air, boat and paddle board. 

The Kelowna Fire Department rescue boat and West Kelowna RCMP boats were also utilized in the search.

“Despite the significant search efforts, to date, there have been no further discoveries made and the RCMP have had to make the difficult decision to suspend the search efforts of volunteer SAR personnel,” said Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey. 

COSAR search manager Duane Tresnich says they’ve exhausted all their search efforts and there is not much more they can do unless other information comes up.

Tresnich says they could be called back on if they are needed.

“The RCMP will continue to search for Zygmunt and investigators will be consulting with expert divers of the RCMP Underwater Recovery Team, who will attend to assess the search area for the effectiveness for the use of sonar equipment,” said O’Donaghey.

Janiewicz’s body has not been recovered. 

“I just wish we located him,” said Tresnich.

He was last seen wearing a pair of black pants, a neon yellow jacket and a white hat. It’s also believed that Janiewicz had a pair of sunglasses and a cellphone on him when he was out on the water. 

Anyone with information is being asked to contact West Kelowna RCMP at 250-768-2880.

- with files from Alanna Kelly

ORIGINAL: 5 a.m.

Central Okanagan Search and Rescue crews have called off their search for missing Kayaker Zygmunt Janiewicz.

RCMP say the 72 year old was last seen kayaking on Okanagan Lake Friday afternoon. 

''The decision to suspend the search is up to the RCMP and usually the family. I believe they have had that conversation, and that is why we have been called off,'' search manager Duane Tresnich said Monday.

Tresnich says a witness reportedly saw Janiewicz heading towards Green Bay.

"The witness said he was about one and a half to two kilometeres from the Kelowna Paddle Centre.''

Janiewicz was a member of the Kelowna Paddle Centre.

''Between Friday night, all day Saturday, and a helicopter flyover on Sunday, we have made our efforts.''

''Friday, we had our main boat out scouring the shoreline to the drop off point. Saturday, we had two SAR boats, plus a kayak, and canoes going over and over the spots,'' Tresnich added. 

Anyone with information related to the search is asked to contact Kelowna RCMP. 

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