Man presumed drowned in Thompson River was from Vernon

Police tape near where witnesses say the missing man entered the water to save a child. CFJC Today

More details are now known about a man who was reported missing along the Thompson River on Saturday: He was playing in a recreational soccer tournament, lived in Vernon and had jumped in the water to save a child.

“According to witnesses, the man entered the water to assist a child who was struggling and went under himself,” said Kamloops RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Crystal Evelyn.

“So it’s a very sad situation.”

Kamloops RCMP confirmed that the man was from Vernon.

Rob Piva is the organizer of the soccer tournament and described a sombre tone on a weekend that was supposed to be fun.

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“The boy was saved and the father was the one that did not come up from the water,” said Piva.

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“And at that point, we saw helicopters and planes flying over across the river and we sort of figured it out.”

Amid the tragedy, the soccer community came together to support the grieving family.

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“Most of the teams that were at the event — they win prize money depending on their placement, and I would say most of the teams have donated their money to be given to the family,” said Piva.

“Once we find out who the family is, there’ll be a cheque somewhere in the neighbourhood of $2,500 that goes to the family.”

Kamloops RCMP officers hadn’t found the missing man as of Tuesday.

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“Police have had aircraft, boats, drones in the area looking for the man and have yet to locate him,” said Evelyn. “The RCMP Underwater Recovery Team is also assisting in the investigation.”

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