A man who drowned in frozen Wood Lake on Wednesday has been identified as 46-year-old Christopher Kent Stone of Lake Country.
Stone’s body was recovered from the lake Wednesday afternoon after he rode his bicycle onto the ice covering the lake and fell through into the frigid water earlier in the day.
Kelowna RCMP Const. Kris Clark said Lake Country RCMP received a report at 10:16 a.m., that a man had fallen through the ice after riding his bicycle onto the lake.
Clark said a loud crashing sound was heard by people in the area and the man was seen going through the ice and could be heard calling for help, but no one was close enough get to him in time.
Ambulance paramedics and members of the Lake Country Fire Department raced to scene but the man could not be found after holes were cut in the ice as part of the search.
While the fire department’s ice rescue team attempted to locate the man, they were aided by the RCMP’s helicopter from above. After several hours, the man was presumed to have drowned and the search was called off.
A RCMP dive team members was on its way to Kelowna from Kamloops Wednesday afternoon to attempt an underwater recovery of the body.
As of yesterday afternoon the man had not been identified.
During the search, traffic on Highway 97 heading north was stopped for a brief time while the search took place.
It is believed the man fell through thin ice near the edge of the lake, a few kilometres from Winfield.
In light of the incident, police are warning the public not to walk on ice that is less than 10 centimetres thick and not drive on ice that is less than 30 centimetres thick.
“When in doubt, don’t do it,” said Clark in a news release issued Wednesday afternoon.
A cold water suit and safety vest are recommended for anyone going out on the ice at this time of year, he added.
The pubic is also being warned to be aware of ice near the inlet and outlet of streams.
“Always be extra cautious on river and stream ice. Ice can vary in thickness and strength from area to area because of temperature, water current, springs, snow cover, and time of year,” said Clark.
More ice safety tips can be found online at www.lifesaving.bc.ca.