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Body found at Kelowna's Hot Sands Beach

Police officers cover a body found in Okanagan Lake off Hot Sands Beach in City Park Monday afternoon. - Don Sipos
Police officers cover a body found in Okanagan Lake off Hot Sands Beach in City Park Monday afternoon.
— image credit: Don Sipos

A snorkeller found the body of a man submerged off Hot Sands Beach Monday afternoon.

Just after 1 p.m., the swimmer spotted the body of the young man in an area in front of the volleyball courts just offshore and brought him into the beach.

"Basically, a group of bystanders saw a body floating, dragged him to the beach, determined he was deceased and called emergency services," said Const. Kris Clark, Kelowna RCMP.

Standing on the beach as police arrived, Steve Brown, who identified himself as the one who pulled the deceased in, said the body is of a man who appeared to be in his 20s.

Police were unable to say how long the body had been in the water, though Clark did indicate the death had not occurred at the time the body was found. He said the deceased had been in the lake for some time, and though he was not able to say how long, he would say the deceased had likely been swimming when he died as he was wearing swimming trunks.

Kelowna RCMP have been in contact with police in West Kelowna, Summerland, Vernon and Penticton to see if any missing persons reports have come in to match the description of the deceased.

"There is nothing really suspicious at this point," said Clark, who also indicated it would be extremely unlikely anyone would die jumping from the bridge directly adjacent to the beach.

A pink blanket was used to shield the body from view and by 2:30 p.m. Monday the coroner had yet to arrive to remove the remains.

"The coroner is usually there within the hour, but sometimes, under certain circumstances, they have to get certain resources in place for themselves as well," he said. "As you know, in the recent plane crash, the coroner didn't go in until the next day. Of course, those were special circumstances because there is another agency that was investigating as well."

Two young men stopping by the scene told police they had been at the spot on the beach where the body was found at 5 a.m. Monday  and did not seen anyone or anything suspicious.

"There's usually a bit of current, so once the boats get things going,  it turns the water," Clark said before indicating the body might have floated in from anywhere on the lake in the hours since.

Kelowna RCMP have now dealt with three bodies in Okanagan Lake this summer and one at Wood Lake.

On July 13, a 39-year-old West Kelowna man drowned off Westside Road while swimming off a log boom with his wife. And on Aug. 1, police recovered the body of a man who went missing while paddle boarding in the area of Carrs Landing.

***

A snorkeller in the water off Hot Sands beach Monday afternoon came upon a submerged body, and the scene is now teeming with emergency services and investigators.

The unidentified snorkeller said he came across the body, floating face down about 25-feet offshore around 1 p.m. That triggered the removal effort.

"There is nothing at this time to indicate that his death was suspicious. Bystanders pulled the man ashore and called for emergency services," said Const. Kris Clark.

Police are on scene and are assisting the BC Coroner's service in the investigation.

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