Local sailors rescue Vancouver family from sinking Sea-Doo on Okanagan Lake

Local sailors rescue Vancouver family from sinking Sea-Doo on Okanagan Lake

Gregory Payne was on his boat on Sunday, Aug. 30, when he saw the family and their overturned Seadoo

Gregory Payne and his sailing partner Bryan Miller were out on Okanagan Lake, Sunday morning, Aug. 30, when they saw something odd near the south end of the William R. Bennett Bridge.

“I noticed in the distance there was something that looked like a whale or something sticking its head up. We decided to sail closer because we were a-ways-away,” Payne said.

“As we got closer, we saw figures around the whale, which was actually a Sea-Doo. They started waving and yelling for help.”

Payne said they pulled a father and his two children out of the water and into their boat. The family was visiting from Vancouver, camping in the Okanagan for the weekend.

The father was that of Omur Terzioglu, who said he went Kelowna Boat Rentals to pick up two Sea-Doos on Sunday morning for himself, his 19-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter. The trio had been travelling north on the lake when they decided to turn back and return the watercraft at about 10:50 a.m.

“We were turning slowly… I turned towards the port when the Sea-Doo started losing its stability. The craft itself went more and more into port until it threw us off,” he said.

A marine engineer with Transport Canada trained in deep-sea survival techniques, Terzioglu sprang into action. He quickly handed off his daughter to his son, who was still on the other vessel before her body temperature dropped. He then worked on trying to turn the other Sea-Doo right side up.

“It wasn’t turning easily. I did manage to turn it over and it was afloat for a bit, but it showed signs the hull was taking in water. I tried to get back on it, but I understood right away there was water inside and it wasn’t stable.”

“The Sea-Doo took more water around its backside, and it started to sink,” Terzioglu said.

Despite his years of experience, he added he was terrified the moment the watercraft started tilting, especially since he had his children to protect. But Terzioglu said it was thanks to his training and Payne and Miller’s help that he and his family were able to get back to shore safely.

Now, Terzioglu said he wants Kelowna Boat Rentals to be more vigilant when monitoring their vessels and ensuring they are safe before renting them out.

“I’m going to discuss this matter with the boating safety office so we can make it safer for others and to make sure no one else experiences an incident like this,” he said.

Black Press Media has reached out to Kelowna Boat Rentals. They have not responded to a request for comment as of publication.

We will provide an update as more information becomes available.

READ: Bernard Avenue set to reopen to motorists after Labour Day long weekend


Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at twila.amato@blackpress.ca
Follow me on Twitter

Boating

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Two Kelowna flights have been flagged as having COVID-19 cases on board. (Black Press Media file photo)
COVID-19 cases on two Kelowna flights

The flights were on Nov. 19 and 24, according to the BC Centre for Disease Control

This microscope image made available by the National Cancer Institute Center for Cancer Research in 2015 shows human colon cancer cells with the nuclei stained red. On Friday, May 29, 2020, doctors are reporting success with newer drugs that control certain types of cancer better, reduce the risk it will come back and make treatment simpler and easier to bear. (NCI Center for Cancer Research via AP)
Vernon families give $200,000 towards cancer care in Kelowna

First ever chair in brachytherapy supported by Popowich and Bannister families

Paramedic Jason Manuel, dressed in PPE, inspects an ambulance at Station 341 on Nov. 30. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Second wave, twice the anxiety; Okanagan paramedics reflect on pandemic from the front line

‘I don’t know who that (next) person is going to be, I don’t want it to be me or my family’: Paramedic

Mission Creek Regional Park. (File Photo)
RDCO cancels in-person park programs due to COVID-19

The regional district said it supports the efforts to reduce the virus’ spread

(Twila Amato - Black Press Media)
COVID-19 cases at 4 more Central Okanagan schools

The Central Okanagan School District is confirming positive COVID-19 cases

JoeAnna’s House pictured in 2019. The house has been in operation for a year. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)
JoeAnna’s House celebrates its one-year anniversary

It’s been one year since JoeAnna’s House opened its doors to helping families

Melissa David, of Parachutes for Pets and her dogs Hudson and Charlie are trying to raise money for a homeless shelter that will allow pets and are seen in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘My only wish:’ Children asking pet charity to help their furry friends at Christmas

Parachutes for Pets says it has received 14 letters from children in the last week t

Melissa Velden and her chef-husband Chris Velden, stand in their dining room at the Flying Apron Inn and Cookery in Summerville, N.S. on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. The couple is hosting holiday parties with appropriate distancing and other COVID-19 health protocols in place at their restaurant. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Celebrities, Santa and Zoom part of office holiday parties being held amid COVID-19

Many will send tokens of appreciation to workers or offer time off or cash

Police responded to W.L. Seaton Secondary after reports of young man attempting to smash car windows in the student parking lot on Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019. (Facebook)
Case of COVID-19 at North Okanagan high school

Member of W.L. Seaton Secondary exposure Nov. 26

The aftermath of the 3 a.m. fire in Keremeos. (Keremeos Fire Department)
Fire and explosion wakes Keremeos residents

A motorhome was consumed and a boat severely damaged after the 3 a.m. fire

A demonstrator wears representations of sea lice outside the Fisheries and Oceans Canada offices in downtown Vancouver Sept. 24, demanding more action on the Cohen Commission recommendations to protect wild Fraser River sockeye. (Quinn Bender photo)
First Nations renew call to revoke salmon farm licences

Leadership council implores use of precautionary principle in Discovery Islands

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps poses for a photo with his parents Amanda Sully and Adam Deschamps in this undated handout photo. Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps was the first baby in Canada to be diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy through Ontario’s newborn screening program. The test was added to the program six days before he was born. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Children’s Hospital Eastern Ontario *MANDATORY CREDIT*
First newborn tested for spinal muscular atrophy in Canada hits new milestones

‘If Aidan had been born any earlier or anywhere else our story would be quite different’

Most Read