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Search continues for missing diver; lake users asked to stay away from Kelowna bridge

The body of a diver was found by a bystander, early Tuesday morning. Central Okanagan Search and Rescue

Boaters and recreational lake users are being asked to stay away from the W.R. Bennett Bridge in Kelowna as the search for a missing diver continues.

The search has been going on since last Saturday afternoon following a report of a possible drowning in Okanagan Lake after a recreational diver failed to re-surface.

The diver was identified on Tuesday as Brian Lannon, 52, a firefighter and captain with Kamloops Fire Rescue.

Read more: Presumed drowned diver in Okanagan Lake identified as Kamloops firefighter

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

During their second dive of the day, Lannon became separated from his diving partner, with the dive team losing contact with him.

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In identifying him, police said the search has become a recovery effort.

West Kelowna RCMP say for Saturday’s search, they, the RCMP Underwater Recovery Team and Central Okanagan Search and Rescue (COSAR) will be in the bridge area again, looking for Lannon’s body.

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

“Our team will focusing on the area to the south of the bridge today,” said RCMP Cpl. Jocelyn Noseworthy.

“It’s a beautiful day on a long weekend, and we anticipate an increase in the number of boaters and others out enjoying Okanagan Lake. For the safety of our divers and the entire search team, we are reminding everyone to please remain away from the area of our search.”

Read more: Winnipeg police chief witnesses early-morning Red River rescue

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COSAR has also asked boaters to stay away from the bridge area.

“Friday was the sixth-day COSAR has been out on Okanagan Lake with RCMP divers searching for missing Kamloops firefighter Brian Lannon,” the search and rescue organization said on its Facebook page.

“The search will continue Saturday with teams using underwater cameras and sonar. Boaters are asked to not cross under the east side of Kelowna’s William R. Bennett Bridge as the wake can create turbidity, making it harder to see images.

“It is also unsafe for divers.”

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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