An RCMP boat on Okanagan Lake near Tugboat Beach in downtown Kelowna on Aug. 17, 2020. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)

Recovery mission on Okanagan Lake for swimmer presumed drowned

West Kelowna RCMP are searching for the body of a man off Tug Boat Beach

A recovery operation is currently underway on Okanagan Lake for a swimmer who is presumed to have drowned on Sunday evening.

West Kelowna RCMP was called out about 6:20 p.m., Aug. 16, to look for a man who had not resurfaced while swimming near Tug Boat Beach.

Witnesses stated they had attempted to locate the 29-year-old Kelowna man but had not been able to find him.

RCMP, fire crews and search and rescue all attended the scene, and despite extensive efforts were unable to find the man.

The Kelowna RCMP is asking that the public refrain from coming to the search site on Okanagan Lake.

According Cpl. Jocelyn Noseworthy, several people have showed up on the lake to either attempt to assist in the ongoing search efforts, or to conduct their own independent searches.

“RCMP and Central Okanagan Search and Rescue (COSAR) appreciate our communities desire to assist persons in distress, but these high risk and coordinated searches are fully resourced and do not require additional resources,” said Cpl. Noseworthy.

Search officials are asking that drones specifically not be brought into these areas. The operation of drones in an active search area can prevent the air search from continuing, because they pose a danger to aircraft.

“For the safety of our divers and the entire search team, we request that boaters remain away from the area while we complete our search,“ said Cpl. Noseworthy. “At this time, we unable to estimate how long this operation will be on-going.”

Police do not believe criminality was involved in this incident. The BC Coroners Service has also been notified.

READ MORE: Kelowna RCMP search for missing man on KVR trail

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