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Search crews scour Okanagan Lake for missing 57-year-old Lake Country woman

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Search crews scour Okanagan Lake for missing 57-year-old Lake Country woman – Jun 27, 2016

LAKE COUNTRY — The body of the missing 57-year-old Lake Country woman was retrieved from Okanagan Lake Monday afternoon.

It was found on the east side of the lake about a kilometre south of safe boat harbour off Okanagan Centre Road West. The woman’s name has yet to be released.

Rescue crews were searching the lake for the woman who didn’t resurface after the canoe she was in overturned on Sunday. The Lake Country Fire Department was called around 7 p.m.

Fire Chief Steve Windsor said a man was also in the canoe but he was picked up by a passing boat.

“He was very shook up. I don’t think he was a good swimmer either,” Windsor said.

“He had swallowed a lot of water.”

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Lake Country’s fire rescue boat was launched at the safe boat harbour and 15 firefighters were on the water doing a grid search of the area. Kelowna Fire Department’s rescue boat was called in to help.

Windsor said despite having pinpointed where the canoe flipped, after about two-and-a-half hours of searching, RCMP took over the case.

“An extensive emergency search for the missing female was conducted by the Kelowna RCMP and Kelowna fire services, however, the search was called off due to nightfall,” Cst. Kelly Brett said in a news release.

The RCMP dive team resumed their efforts early Monday morning and the search is still underway.

“The capsizing appears to be a tragic accident and no foul play is suspected at this time,” Brett said.

Brett said the occupants of the canoe were about 100 feet away from the shore when the canoe tipped.

“No life jackets were seen on the couple,” Brett said.

He said the canoe flipped near the 9300 block of Okanagan Centre Road, west of Lake Country.

“Kelowna RCMP is reminding residents and tourists to always practice boat safety by wearing life jackets at all times when on the water.”

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Both Brett and Windsor are putting out a safety message to the public.

“It just goes to show how a tragedy can happen very quickly. All safety gear that everybody harps about should be worn,” he said.