Zygmunt Janiewicz was reportedly last seen wearing a pair of black pants, a yellow jacket and a white hat. File photo.

Funds needed for special diving team to find missing Okanagan kayaker

Zygmunt Janiewicz was last seen on Okanagan Lake May 17

The search for missing Zygmunt Janiewicz may be over for the Kelowna RCMP, but the family of the 71-year-old is looking at other ways to continue the search.

A GoFundMe page has been started to help the family gather funds to both find Janiewicz, who was reported missing after kayaking on Lake Okanagan on May 17, and to provide support for his wife Maria, who lives with dementia and requires 24-hour care.

Tomasz Janiewicz said the funds will go to hiring a private search team from the U.S. to extend past where the RCMP’s search left off for his father.

“The RCMP have done as much as the search as possible, they searched as deep as 150 feet and they can’t search past that with their (resources),” Janiewicz said.

With a private team being able to dive deeper than 150 ft to potentially find his father, Janiewicz said the family hopes for some closure and to focus on taking care of Maria.

READ MORE: The search for body of missing Kelowna kayaker continues

READ MORE: Police search Okanagan Lake for missing senior kayaker

Tomasz, who lives in the U.K., was visiting his parents earlier in the year before returning home. He was on a work trip when he found out that his father was reported missing in May.

“It was a big shock. I couldn’t believe that my dad who I saw two months ago is not here anymore,” he said.

Janiewicz’s father was his mother’s primary care-taker and though she’s had troubles understanding, he said that he knows that she’s deeply affected that her husband is missing.

READ MORE: Okanagan baby undergoes five-hour surgery after dog attack

The search team is not expected in the Okanagan for another four weeks.

Support on the GoFundMe page has raised almost $5,000 in just two days.

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