Search intensifies for boaters missing from Okanagan lakes after storms

Click to play video: 'Two men missing in B.C. following Monday night storm'
Two men missing in B.C. following Monday night storm
Two men have disappeared on Okanagan Lakes in the aftermath of Monday's storm. As our Taya Fast reports, the men went missing in two separate marine incidents in the Vernon area – Jul 25, 2023

An intense Monday night storm has left two families awaiting word from their loved ones, who went missing while boating on Okanagan lakes.

Mounties said they heard of the first boater disappearing at around 11 p.m. Monday, when a kayaker was separated from the group they were with when the storm blew in on Kalamalka Lake.

“After encountering rough conditions, the group was able to land on the west side of the lake,” RCMP said in a press release.

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“One of the men in the group left in an attempt to paddle back across the lake to Kalamalka beach. The man was not seen again and his kayak has since been recovered.”

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Vernon Search and Rescue responded and conducted an initial search for the man who was not found.

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“A short time later, around 11:15 p.m., police received a report that one person was missing after a commercial fishing vessel had capsized on Okanagan Lake near Ellison Provincial Park,” RCMP said.

“The boat was engaged in fishing activities and towing a smaller vessel when it encountered high waves and strong winds brought on by an overnight storm, causing the vessel to overturn. The man operating the vessel did not surface.”

An initial search of the area was conducted by Vernon Search and Rescue as well as an RCMP police boat, but the man was not located.

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“Concurrent searches have been organized and are underway on both Kalamalka Lake and Okanagan Lake, utilizing both Vernon Search and Rescue and RCMP resources,” Const. Chris Terleski said.

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“These are both terribly unfortunate events and our thoughts are with the families during this difficult time as we continue our search for their loved ones.”

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