It was a tragic Father’s Day for one Surrey, B.C., family visiting the Okanagan on the second day of summer.
Emergency crews rushed to the Mill Creek waterfall in the Ellison area, east of the Kelowna Airport, just before 5:30 p.m. on Sunday in response to a report of a drowning.
Police arrived to learn a 46-year-old man had entered the water to try to rescue his daughter, who had slipped in.
She was able to get back to shore, police said, but her father was not.
Bystanders were able to pull him from the water and begin CPR, which was taken over by paramedics once they arrived.
“Despite the best efforts of everyone involved, the 46-year-old man could not be resuscitated and passed away,” Cpl. Jocelyn Noseworthy told Global News.
“RCMP Victim Services is providing support to the witnesses and the victim’s family. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his loved ones during this difficult time.”
Global News has learned the man who died was Kashif Sheikh, a Realtor and father of four.
Sheikh is being remembered as a beloved husband and father and a hard working businessman who got joy out of helping others.
“He was a very loving guy. He worked hard,” said family friend Fahad Rasheed.
Sheikh joined Nationwide Realty Corp. in Surrey this past January and was put through the mentorship program, according to managing broker Ray Arneja.
“He was really helpful and a really great guy. I am still in shock,” he said. “I have no words to say how good of a person he was — such a good soul.”
He previously worked for Team 3000 realty.
The Central Okanagan Regional Emergency Program is reminding the public of sudden creek rises and increases to flow during the spring freshet.
“People and their pets should stay safely back from creek banks, which may be slippery or subject to erosion,” the regional district said in an email.