A man was killed after crashing his jet ski into a log boom on the weekend, the third death in Okanagan Lake in nine days.
The boater was riding the personal watercraft near Trader's Cove on the lake's west side half an hour after sunset on Saturday when he slammed into logs floating close to shore. People aboard a 10-metre pleasure boat nearby heard a loud bang and went over to investigate.
The victim was wearing a life jacket and lying motionless in the water. They pulled him out and got him in their boat, said Platoon Capt. Dale Calhoun of the Kelowna Fire Dept.
"If they weren't there, you can almost guarantee that nothing would have been found until next morning because it was right at dark time and no one would have seen him."
Firefighters launched their marine-rescue boat from the Kelowna Yacht Club.
They crossed the lake and put the man on a backboard. They transferred him to the rescue boat and gave him CPR as they returned to the yacht club. Paramedics took him away in an ambulance. He was pronounced dead from head injuries at Kelowna General Hospital. Calhoun believes he died instantly when he drove into the log boom.
The man was in his 40s and may have moved to Kelowna recently, said RCMP. He has family here, but police were withholding his name on Sunday. They recovered the personal watercraft later Saturday night.
Paramedics at first drove to Trader's Cove, but apparently had trouble accessing the lakeshore. They drove to Bear Creek Park, but the firefighters chose to boat back to downtown Kelowna.
Mervyn Kenneth Reinson, a 66-year-old Langley man, died while boating alone by the Kelowna Yacht Club on Aug. 16
after he fell into the water. He may have suffered a medical episode or slipped and hit his head. He was found floating a short time later.
Mitesh Krishnil Gounder, 23, and from Surrey, went for a swim from a rented boat on Aug. 18 and was unable to get back on board. He had an injured shoulder and drowned. An RCMP helicopter pilot spotted his body in three metres of water north of Gyro Beach the next morning.
"It's been a bad year from drownings to accidents on the lake," Calhoun said.