Drowning on the Similkameen River

Two tragedies this weekend in the Lower Similkameen

Keremeos and the Lower Similkameen are dealing with a second tragedy this weekend after a drowning occurred in the Similkameen River on Saturday, July 20.

Emergency first responders in Keremeos BC attended to an area of the Similkameen River Saturday afternoon, after receiving a report of an accidental drowning.

The Keremeos RCMP and BC Coroners Services are continuing their investigation into the man’s death. Witnesses reported that the man was float rafting on the Similkameen River with friends, when the 19 year old from Keremeos fell off at one point and encountered difficulties in the water.  The man was unable to negotiate the water currents and was swept under the surface near a Keremeos area bridge.

The Keremeos Fire Dept and Keremeos Search and Rescue swift water technicians were able to recover the man’s body.

The Keremeos RCMP continues to assist the BC Coroners Services in their investigation and will also be providing support to the man’s family via RCMP Victim Services.

To date the 2013 Summer recreational season in BC has seen over double the previous amount of accidental drownings up from 20 drowning deaths in 2012.  We urge all to take normal safety precautions when enjoying BC waterways and to never underestimate the possible risks involved with water recreation. Stated Cpl Dan Moskaluk.

No further information is being released at this time regarding the man’s identity. Further information will be provided by the BC Coroners Services when appropriate.

This incident follows a  two vehicle accident just south of Keremeos on Friday afternoon that sent five people to hospital.