Eyewitness describes ‘horrific’ boat crash on Osoyoos Lake
An eyewitness to a “horrific” boating crash in Osoyoos, B.C., that claimed two lives on Saturday night describes a boat T-boning another at high speed before launching into the air and disappearing into the lake.
Carmen Martins was sitting near the beach on Osoyoos Lake around 7:15 p.m. when she saw the collision between an aluminum fishing boat carrying three young men and a red boat.
“The three boys went into the boat and they were just going across the lake peacefully and all of a sudden… a red boat came from Haynes Point — like, across — it came really fast and it hit the top part of the grey boat and it went flying, and it went down. It was just like in the movies, oh my God, it was so horrific,” she told Global News on Sunday.
Martins said both boats quickly sank following the collision.
“There was nothing in the water, not even those two boats — they disappeared. We looked and the steel part of the boat was up a little bit out of the water and we screamed, ‘Called 911!’”
Martins frantically called on neighbours to contact first responders and nearby boaters jumped into action.
“We said, ‘Get boats out there! Get boats out there!’ And the residents just automatically got into their boats and they got there,” she said.
“We saw them coming back, and a little fishing boat came and it had a boy in it, and another boat came and it had two other boys in it.”
Rick Propp, one of the rescuers, spotted three young men clinging to the bow of the partially submerged boat.
“You could see the debris from the boats that were floating. The kids waved at us because they were holding onto the bow of that one boat. They were in pretty bad shape. One had major leg damage,” he said.
Propp was shocked by what happened.
“It was surreal — ‘Is this really happening?’ — but it was, and these poor kids holding onto the bow of the boat — if it would’ve been much longer they couldn’t hold on,” he said.
The RCMP Underwater Recovery Team scoured the lake on Sunday afternoon.
RCMP confirmed Monday that the bodies of two men — a 35-year-old from Kamloops and a 36-year-old Maple Ridge — were recovered from the lake.
On Monday, the BC Coroners Service confirmed it is investigating the deaths.
Three others were transported to hospital with serious injuries, RCMP said.
The RCMP say they are working to raise both boats from the bottom of the lake. The investigation into the cause of the collision is ongoing.
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