Search area expanded for missing Okanagan kayaker
On Sunday, Central Okanagan Search and Rescue plans to search an expanded area of Okanagan Lake, as the search for a 71-year-old man who went missing on Friday afternoon moves into its third day.
Crews have been searching for avid kayaker Zygmunt Janiewicz since Friday when he didn’t return from his paddle on Okanagan Lake.
“Investigators have expanded their search across the lake into Green Bay, in West Kelowna, along a route they believe Zygmunt would often travel,” Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey said in an emailed statement on Sunday morning.
Police said Janiewicz left from the 3000 block of Abbott Street in Kelowna’s Pandosy neighbourhood on Friday afternoon.
A boat and life jacket were found later that same day, roughly 700 metres to the south near the shore of Watt Road, where there is lake access.
Since then, despite what police described as a full-scale search, no further sign of Janiewicz has been found.
On Sunday, Central Okanagan Search and Rescue planned to use a helicopter to look for Janiewicz to re-examine an area of the shoreline they have already searched to make sure there is nothing they missed, then they will work towards the middle of the lake.
Search manager Duane Tresnich said with the sun high in the sky they will actually be able to see further down into the lake in the helicopter than they can with a boat.
RCMP said that air search is being supported by boats and paddle boarders.
The search for Janiewicz has previously involved boats as well as ground crews and a helicopter.
Asked if search crews believe the missing senior is likely in Okanagan Lake, Tresnich said the search is covering all bases.
Search and rescue said the missing senior was an avid kayaker who paddled daily and was fit and familiar with the lake and weather conditions.
Police said Janiewicz was following one of his regular routes when he disappeared.
Public tips can be reported to RCMP at 250-762-3300
Police said the senior was wearing black pants, a yellow jacket and a white hat when he went missing.
– with files from Doyle Potenteau
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