Former Kelowna Packers hockey player Pat Mangold, 47, died Saturday night after crashing his jet ski into a log boom on Okanagan Lake near Trader’s Cove.
Mangold was riding his jet ski around 8:30 p.m. when he struck a log boom and was thrown from his personal watercraft.
A nearby boater heard the impact and was able to get Mangold aboard his boat. As a result, he was quickly transported to the shore and then taken to hospital by ambulance; however, he was not able to be resuscitated.
Mangold had two daughters. His niece, Kerri Green, described him as “an amazing father.”
Born at Kelowna General Hospital in 1966, Mangold spent his early days in the region, according to Green. Eventually, his talent and love for hockey took him elsewhere.
According to the Internet Hockey Database, Mangold began his WHL career with the Calgary Wranglers in 1981. After two seasons with the Wranglers—playing just three games per season—he moved to the BCJHL Salmon Arm Shuswap Totems.
In 1983 he went back to the Wranglers for two more seasons before eventually playing one season with the Kamloops Blazers and two seasons with the Kelowna Packers.
Mangold wrapped up his career in the British Hockey League in 1987/88, where he finished leading scorer for the Cleveland Bombers.
Mangold was a physical player and Green said she had memories of watching her uncle play in Kelowna, then going to give him a hard time when he ended up in the penalty box.
But above Mangold’s love for sports was his love for family, said Green.
“He hugged everyone. He had a smile that lit up the room and he had love for everyone,” said Green.
Green said her entire family was shocked to hear about the fatal incident because her uncle was familiar with Okanagan Lake.
“He grew up on this lake. He used to be a slalom water skiier…that’s what’s so crazy about the whole situation,” said Green.
“It’s a big loss to all of us. We’re still very much in shock. He was a big part of our family. He loved us and loved his family a lot.”
The BC Coroners Service and RCMP continue to investigate the incident. According to Const. Kris Clark, visibility and speed were likely factors in the crash.