Two B.C. water-based searches: diver disappears near Nanaimo, missing swimmer in lake near Sicamous

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      Two searches on the water are underway in B.C.: one for a diver off Vancouver Island and the other for a swimmer at a lake in the Southern Interior of B.C.


      Nanaimo RCMP stated that a search has been launched for a diver who disappeared during a recreational dive around 10 a.m. today (August 13) in the area of the Winchelsea Islands.

      Unfortunately, a language barrier resulted in the incident not being reported for two hours.

      According to Nanaimo RCMP, two men were on a 14-foot vessel and one of them had been diving.

      When the diver did not surface, the individual on the boat called a person on shore, who eventually called 911.

      The Joint Rescue Coordination Centre is using its hovercraft and helicopter to search the area, and a Canadian Coast Guard vessel is searching the water. In addition, a volunteer rescue crew is also searching the area, and ground-based search and rescue personnel are searching the coastline.

      The missing diver is in his 40, of South Asian descent, and speaks very little English. He was wearing a black wet suit with a diving tank attached.

      Anyone with information about the whereabouts of this diver is asked to call 911 or Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345.


      In the Shuswap region, Sicamous RCMP received a report around 4 p.m. on August 11 about a possible drowning in Mara Lake near Turtle Bay.

      A witness reported seeing a 64-year-old man from Red Deer, Alberta, in distress while swimming in deep water near his boat.

      RCMP responded in a detachment vessel along with Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue, and private boats also assisted in the search.

      Unfortunately, the man has not been located and is presumed drowned.

      "We have requested assistance from the RCMP Underwater Recovery Team who will attend and attempt to locate and recover the victim,” Sicamous RCMP Sgt. Murray McNeil stated in a news release.

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook.