Still no sign of missing Kamloops jet skier 1 month after river crash

Police have yet to find any sign of the man, who is presumed deceased

  • Aug. 29, 2018 8:53 a.m.

-Kamloops this Week

As of Wednesday, aug. 29, it will be exactly one month since a jet skier went missing following a crash on the South Thompson River and police have yet to find any sign of the man, who is presumed deceased.

RCMP Cpl. Jodi Shelkie said police have searched the river, but isn’t sure if Kamloops Lake has been patrolled.

“At this point, we’re waiting for the body to surface and we don’t know where that will be or when,” said Shelkie.

On the afternoon of July 29, two men riding separate jet skis on the river near Holman Road collided when one driver crashed into the other while attempting to make a U-turn. Both men went into the water, but only the one who made the turn resurfaced. He managed to make it back to shore and police soon arrived to search for the other man.

RELATED: Kamloops RCMP say search for missing jet ski driver now a recovery mission

The RCMP’s dive team searched for the next two days, concentrating on an area between the Valleyview boat launch and the Lafarge Bridge.

Additional searches by local police via boat and the RCMP helicopter were held in the days that followed.

“We don’t make a conscious decision and say, ‘Let’s scale it back.’ We do everything that we can, up front, and then as time permits,” Shelkie said.

The missing jet ski operator — a man in his early 30s — was wearing a life jacket at the time, but it was one that had to be manually deployed and police are not sure if it had been activated.

The other jet skier was uninjured, Shelkie said, noting there are no charges pending against the man who crashed into the boater who went missing.

The accident was the second of two jet ski crashes that occurred on the river in that area in a two-month span.

In May, two other jet ski operators collided on the river in a similar area, but both survived. One man sustained a leg injury while his friend broke a toe.

In both accidents, the boaters knew each other and were out on the water together.

“People need to practise proper boating safety,” Shelkie said, noting boating comes with similar responsibilities to driving a car.

“People need to wear proper floatation devices, maintain your distance between vehicles — whether it’s a manually powered boat or a boat with an engine — don’t drink and drive,” she said.

RELATED: River closed in Kamloops as RCMP search for missing man

City officials have cautioned boaters to operate their vessels in a safe manner, but noted the municipality has no jurisdiction over the rivers.

Byron McCorkell, the city’s community and protective services director, said the last conversation he remembers the city having regarding safety on the rivers was 10 years ago, when some boaters suggested a speed limit between the bridges.

“There is more and more boating activity on the river. I think it’s a conversation the community might want to have [now],” McCorkell said, adding it would be up to council to determine whether it would support raising such a concern with the appropriate level of government.

Kamloops Mayor Ken Christian said he thinks behaviour on the river is the problem.

“The main thing here is respect that river,” he said, noting the rivers are more dangerous than they seem due to the currents. “It’s much different than aquatic activities on a lake.”

Transport Canada sets and enforces regulations for boaters.

Until 1999, anyone could operate a boat, regardless of boating safety knowledge, experience or training. Today, boaters must obtain a proof of competency, such as a pleasure craft operator card.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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

Just Posted

Kelowna house and hip hop artist grows in popularity with new single

Edge’s ‘Vice City Vibes’ is available on all streaming platforms now

UPDATE: Rose Valley Dam wildfire in West Kelowna knocked back on all flanks

The fire is three hectares in size and was first reported at around 2:30 p.m. on Aug. 2.

BC RCMP notify IIO BC of incident involving police dog in Kelowna

A suspect and a police dog were taken to receive medical treatment after an incident on Aug. 1.

Alberta man presumed to have drowned after cliff jumping in Peachland

Emergency responders began rescue efforts at around 2:40 p.m. on Aug. 1.

Sternwheelers once plied Okanagan Lake

Vessels once transported passengers and goods along the Okanagan Valley

VIDEO: Otter pups learn to swim at B.C. wildlife rescue facility

Watch Critter Care’s Nathan Wagstaffe help seven young otters go for their first dip

Forty-three properties near Dry Lake, along Highway 5A, under evacuation alert

Wildfire has been burning out of control north of Princeton for two days

Wildfire near Merritt creates smoke for drivers on Coquihalla

Coldwater River fire was estimated at seven hectares Aug. 3 and classified as out of control

Wildfire burning out of control at Dry Lake near Princeton

Hot, dry conditions affecting containment efforts

Thompson Okanagan Tourist Association: Who can’t access your business?

TOTA launches video to encourage proprietors to remove barriers

Shuswap pet nutritionist, raw diet advocate to be featured in national magazine

Sicamous-based Deanna Larocque building reputation for canine support

Michael Buble among 13 British Columbians to receive Order of B.C.

Ceremony will be delayed to 2021 due to COVID-19

U.S. border communities feel loss of Canadian tourists, shoppers and friends

Restrictions on non-essential travel across the Canada-U.S. border have been in place since March 2`

Most Read