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UPDATED: Scuba diver perishes in Okanagan Lake

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Scuba diver perishes in Okanagan Lake – Sep 17, 2018

A scuba diver is dead following an incident in Okanagan Lake.

The incident happened just before 12:30 p.m. on Sunday at Fintry Provincial Park in the North Westside where the local fire department just happened to be doing a fundraiser.

North Westside Fire Rescue chief, Jason Sattherthwaite, said they saw an instructor trying to save the scuba diver’s life and rushed in to help.

“We witnessed a scuba diver performing CPR on a second scuba diver. We took over CPR and continued doing CPR until B.C. Ambulance arrived,” Sattherwaite said.

He said the instructor told rescuers that he and the victim were conducting a safety exercise when things went wrong.

“The diving instructor explained to us they were down at about 80 feet below the surface. He indicated that the student was having some difficulty. They were performing some type of routine regulator swap and during that procedure he realized the student was having some problems. He immediately took action and went to emergency procedures and brought him to the surface. When he got to the surface, he was not breathing,” Sattherwaite added.

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Police said the death is not suspicious but the investigation is still ongoing.

“It appears the diver may have gone into medical distress during an 80 foot dive,” Const. Kelly Brett said in a news release. “Other divers and witnesses on scene provided life saving measures to the male until emergency crews arrived. Sadly, despite those efforts the male passed away.”

The victim is a 56-year-old West Kelowna man. His name has not been released.

The instructor is from Golden, B.C.