Western News Staff
A 12-year-old Calgary girl has become the second drowning victim in Osoyoos Lake this summer.
According to Cpl. Jason Bayda of the Osoyoos RCMP, police responded to the emergency call about 7:32 p.m. on Aug. 17 after the unidentified girl who was camping with her family at Swiws (Haynes Point) Provincial Park slipped into deep water and did not surface.
The victim had been walking with a friend in the shallow water along the sand spit at the Swiws Point when several waves reportedly caused her to loose her balance.
The friend held onto the girl’s hand for as long as she could but was unable to do so after awhile.
Police say the victim did not know how to swim and was not wearing a floatation device.
A number of people on shore, several boaters, four RCMP officers, members of the Osoyoos Fire Department and three helicopters working nearby converged on the scene in a frantic effort to find her.
After nearly 40 minutes of searching, Bayda said a “heroic” campground employee located the girl in about 10 feet of water, brought her to the police boat and she was taken to shore.
Despite the efforts of the emergency responders she did not survive.
The other drowning happened June 28 when a North Vancouver man died after falling off his personal watercraft.
His body was located Aug. 16 by the private firm Ralston and Associates of Boise, Idaho using side scan sonar. Two cadaver dogs from California assisted in the recovery and helped narrow the search area.
The man was not wearing a life jacket.
The BC Coroners Service has since confirmed the identity of the man as Samen Pirzadeh-Tabaei-Zavareh, 34.
He was the driver of the watercraft with passenger onboard when they encountered strong winds in the late afternoon and capsized.
The survivor was rescued by a passing boat however they failed to locate the victim.
He was recovered by the RCMP dive team after his location had been identified.
Police and the coroners service continue to investigate the death.