by Dave Preston
A man from the Lower Mainland is the latest victim in a series of drownings in the Okanagan Valley this summer.
RCMP is reporting that the 56-year-old man drowned at Peanut Pond — a small body of water in Osoyoos.
The man was reported missing by three friends on Sunday, August 5 after the group had been fishing at the pond.
“The four had been fishing from shore at Peanut Pond and were getting ready to leave when the male decided to go for a swim while the other three packed their belongings,” said Cpl. Dan Moskaluk. “After a short time the friends went back to look for the male but he could not be found.”
Using paddle boats, the friends went around the pond but could not locate the missing man, according to Moskaluk. They were not sure if the man had left the area on foot.
“Police conducted foot patrols around Peanut Pond and Osoyoos throughout the night looking for the missing man,” said Moskaluk. “Arrangements were made to have the RCMP Dive Team attend on the following morning.”
At 7 a.m. Monday morning, a local resident advised RCMP that a body had surfaced in Peanut Pond. Police and the BC Coroner Service were able to recover the body.
“A positive identification was made, and police confirmed that it was that of the missing man,” said Moskaluk. He added that no foul play is suspected, but alcohol could be a contributing factor to the drowning.
The Peanut Pond incident brings to eight the number of people who have lost their lives to drowning in the Central and South Okanagan this summer.
- July 9 (Gallagher Lake) — A 32-year-old Oliver woman drowned after falling out of a paddle boat;
- July 13 (Okanagan Lake) — A 40-year-old Okanagan man drowned while swimming with his dog near the log boom next to Bear Creek Provincial Park;
- July 28 (Kettle River) — A couple in their 70s from Christina Lake and a man from Scotland drown after the tubes they were floating on went over Cascade Falls;
- July 29 (Skaha Lake) — A 12-year-old girl from 70 Mile House drowned after slipping off a sandbar;
- July 30 (Okanagan Lake) — A 73-year-old man from Oregon drowned after he went paddle boarding;
- August 5 (Peanut Pond) — A 56-year-old man from Vancouver drowned when swimming alone.