May 21, 2019 5:41 pm

West Kelowna RCMP take over investigation of missing Okanagan Lake kayaker

RCMP say Zygmunt Janiewicz, 71, was reported as missing on Friday afternoon after he failed to return from a kayak outing on Okanagan Lake earlier in the day.

Global News
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Police in West Kelowna say they have taken over the investigation of a missing man who went kayaking last week.

Calling it an unexplained disappearance, RCMP say Zygmunt Janiewicz, 71, went missing on Friday afternoon.

A kayak and personal floatation device were discovered along a Kelowna beach, and a large-scale search occurred.

Avid kayaker Zygmunt Janiewicz went missing on Friday while out kayaking on Okanagan Lake.

Courtesy: RCMP

It’s believed Janiewicz entered Okanagan Lake at approximately 11:45 a.m. on May 17 and didn’t return as scheduled.

Police say they received a report of an overdue kayaker at 3:35 p.m.

WATCH BELOW (Aired May 17, 2019): Searchers take to Okanagan Lake looking for missing kayaker

The kayak and PFD, which RCMP believe belonged to Janiewicz, were spotted and recovered along the 3300 block of Watt Road.

Search and rescue crews looked for Janiewicz throughout the Victoria Day long weekend. Helping Central Okanagan Search and Rescue were crews from Kelowna RCMP, Kelowna Fire Department and West Kelowna RCMP.

READ MORE: Crews continue search for missing kayaker on Okanagan Lake, urge safety

On Monday, the search was suspended.

“Despite the significant search efforts, to date there have been no further discoveries made and the RCMP have had to make the difficult decision to suspend the search efforts of volunteer SAR personnel,” Kelowna RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey said on Monday.

“The RCMP will continue to search for Zygmunt and investigators will be consulting with expert divers of the RCMP underwater recovery ream, who will attend to assess the search area for the effectiveness for the use of sonar equipment.”

WATCH BELOW (Aired May 20, 2019): Search for missing kayaker called off

As to why West Kelowna RCMP have taken over the investigation, West Kelowna has jurisdiction for all marine incidents on Okanagan Lake in the Central Okanagan.

Janiewicz was last seen wearing a pair of black pants, a neon yellow jacket, sunglasses and a white hat. It is also believed he had a cellular phone with him when he ventured out on the water.

Anyone with information regarding Janiewicz is asked to contact the West Kelowna RCMP at 250-768-2880.

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