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Okanagan Lake most dangerous in B.C. for drownings: Coroner’s report

There were 30 accidental drowning deaths in Okanagan Lake from 2012 to 2022
A BC Coroners Service report shows that Okanagan Lake is the deadliest for accidental drowning deaths in the province. (Black Press file photo)

Okanagan Lake is the deadliest lake in the province for accidental drowning deaths.

A BC Coroners report shows that 30 people drowned in Okanagan Lake between 2012 and 2022, followed by Harrison Lake (12) and Shuswap Lake (9).

The report also states that most drowning deaths over that period occurred in rivers and creeks. The Fraser River had the most deaths at 53, followed by the Thompson River (9) and Columbia River (8).

Of all the deaths over the past decade, 78 per cent were male, with individuals aged 19-29 accounting for 21 per cent of drownings, followed by 50–59-year-olds at 17 per cent.

As well, nearly one-third of all drowning deaths in B.C. during that time frame occurred in the Interior Health Authority region.

The most common activities associated with drownings were boating, swimming and falling into water.

Alcohol and drugs were found to be a contributing factor in 38 per cent of deaths, although the report states that there may have been more than one contributing factor in some cases.

The deadliest year over the past decade was 2020 with 87 drownings. There were 86 deaths in 2022.

The full report can be read here.

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Gary Barnes

About the Author: Gary Barnes

Recently joined Kelowna Capital News and WestK News as a multimedia journalist in January 2022. With almost 30 years of experience in news reporting and radio broadcasting...
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