Three fatal outdoor recreation incidents in B.C.: Okanagan Lake, Golden, and Squamish

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      As British Columbians continue to head into the Great Outdoors for recreation, three fatal incidents that have taken place over the past week are reminders of the hazards that exist.

      Okanagan Lake

      Around 11:20 a.m. on August 5, Emergency Health Services called West Kelowna RCMP to report that two personal, recreational watercraft had collided on Okanagan Lake.

      One person had sustained serious injuries in the collision.

      When officers arrived at the Summerland boat launch, one of the individuals, who was operating a Sea-Doo, identified themselves as an off-duty RCMP officer.

      Although the operator of the other watercraft was taken to hospital for treatment, he later died from his injuries on the evening of the same day. His identity has not been released.

      B.C. RCMP informed the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. (IIO BC), which will investigate the action of the off-duty officer.

      Anyone with relevant information about this incident is asked to contact the IIO BC Witness Line at 1-855-446-8477 or through its website.  

      Okanagan Lake near Summerland
      SMJoness/Getty Images

      Columbia River at Golden

      B.C. RCMP stated that around 5:20 p.m. MST (4:20 p.m. PST) on August 6, Golden-Field RCMP received a call about a cyclist who was riding across the bridge on Kicking Horse Drive in Golden, B.C., but crashed and had fallen over the side of the bridge into the Columbia River.

      “The RCMP immediately engaged the Golden Search and Rescue unit, who was able to retrieve the 39-year-old man from the river and commence CPR,” Golden RCMP spokesperson Sgt. Betty Watson explained in a news release.

      B.C. Emergency Health Services transported him to hospital, but he was later pronounced deceased. His identity has not been released.

      The B.C. Coroners Service will investigate the incident (criminality is not suspected in the man’s death).

      Squamish

      Around 9 a.m. on August 8, a man who was paddleboarding with family and friends at Alice Lake Provincial Park in Squamish reportedly fell into the water and did not resurface.

      A search was launched, involving B.C. Emergency Health Services, Fire Rescue, Search and Rescue, and RCMP, including the RCMP Dive Team.  

      Then around 8:15 p.m. on August 8, the dive team recovered the man’s body.

      B.C. Provincial Park Rangers had temporarily closed Alice Lake Park during the police investigation but it has since reopened.

      Anyone with any information about this incident is asked to contact Squamish RCMP at 604-892-6100, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

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