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Presumed drowned diver in Okanagan Lake identified as Kamloops firefighter

The family of Brian Lannon says the 53-year-old got separated during a dive on Saturday afternoon and failed to resurface. Submitted

A captain with the Kamloops fire department is presumed to have drowned in Okanagan Lake this past weekend.

On Tuesday, the family of Brian Lannon, 53, issued a public statement “confirming that it is Brian who is presumed drowned in a diving accident in Okanagan Lake.”

Rescue crews in West Kelowna were called to the east side of the W.R. Bennett Bridge Saturday afternoon, just before 3 p.m., for a possible drowning after a recreational diver failed to re-surface.

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Read more: Rescue mission turned recovery operation for missing diver in Okanagan Lake

According to Lannon’s family, he was a captain with Kamloops Fire Rescue, having served as a firefighter since 1994.

“He was a much-loved husband, son, brother and uncle and a cherished friend to many,” said the family statement.

Lannon and his wife of 20 years, Jennifer Cook, were in Kelowna on Saturday to do some recreational diving with two local Kelowna divers.

The statement said they completed a morning dive near the bridge without incident. During the second dive of the day, though, Lannon became separated from his diving partner, with the dive team losing contact with him.

Click to play video: 'Search for missing diver underway on Okanagan Lake' Search for missing diver underway on Okanagan Lake
Search for missing diver underway on Okanagan Lake – May 16, 2021

“When it became apparent that he had not resurfaced, his dive team began searching with the assistance of some local boaters and called for emergency response,” said the statement.

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“The search for Brian has continued since then and has now become a recovery effort.”

The statement said Lannon’s family is very grateful for the efforts of the Kelowna RCMP and the RCMP’s dive team, Kelowna Fire Rescue and Central Okanagan Search and Rescue (COSAR). They also thanked Kamloops Fire Rescue for the overwhelming support they have provided.

It remains unclear what happened to the man, and searchers are requesting the public stay clear of search areas.

Click to play video: 'Volunteer diver pulls trash from B.C. lake' Volunteer diver pulls trash from B.C. lake
Volunteer diver pulls trash from B.C. lake – Feb 16, 2021

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