Search and Rescue crews respond to multiple rescue calls in Okanagan

Click to play video: 'Multiple rescue calls in the Okanagan Friday evening'
Multiple rescue calls in the Okanagan Friday evening
Emergency crews around the Okanagan were kept busy Friday night with multiple rescues including the possible drowning and several missing persons calls in Vernon. Victoria Femia reports. – Aug 27, 2022

Emergency crews from both Vernon and Kelowna were kept busy Friday evening when they were called out to a number of tasks.

The first call was around 5:30 p.m., Kelowna RCMP responded to a report of a man who went into Okanagan Lake at McKinley Landing and never resurfaced.

Crews were searching throughout the evening but were unsuccessful. Central Okanagan Search and Rescue returned to the area early Saturday morning to continue the search.

Read more: Body of Surrey man recovered from Okanagan Lake: RCMP

“COSAR was called out last night by the RCMP to assist in locating a missing male,” said Central Okanagan Search and Rescue Manager, Duane Tresnich.

“We spent the last two hours last night between 7 and 9 p.m. searching the McKinley Landing area and we were out first thing at 7 a.m.”

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During the day COSAR had a helicopter out getting an aerial view of the area the man went missing.

Read more: Body of missing Okanagan doctor recovered from Thompson River in Kamloops

“The helicopter is used as an overview to see if the subject is closer to the shore (where) we can’t get in and walk, it’s a very rocky area out there, there’s a lot of docks but there’s a lot of drop off cliffs too.”

Vernon Search and Rescue had been called out to assist at Mckinley Landing but stood down while COSAR conducted an air search, however, they had a busy night of their own with three separate searches on both land and water.

“About 7 p.m. we received a phone call from Vernon RCMP, a witness had reported a sailboat that was partially sunk out towards the Ellison Park area,” said VSAR Search Manager, Coralie Nairn.

Click to play video: 'Man who drowned in Peachland Monday was a 57-year-old tourist from the Lower Mainland'
Man who drowned in Peachland Monday was a 57-year-old tourist from the Lower Mainland

“We responded to that call and we were about 20 minutes into it when we received a second call for a missing person in the area.”

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Members of VSAR attended the missing persons call but shortly after were told by Vernon RCMP that the individual was located and the search team can stand down. Around that time they also determined the sunken sailboat was abandoned and no injuries or issues were reported.

“We completed that task and just as we got back to the Vernon Yacht Club, the marina, we got the third call,” said Nairn.

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Spike in rescue calls in the Okanagan during pandemic

“That was for another missing person in the Vernon area, so we responded to that, we were stood down at approximately one in the morning and that’s pending further investigation from the (Vernon) RCMP.”

Kelowna RCMP confirmed the report of a possible drowning in Okanagan Lake but has yet to release any new information.

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