Friends, family and members of the football community in B.C. and Alberta are mourning the death of Nathan Falito, who drowned in Shuswap Lake last week.
Falito, 22, went missing from Canoe Beach on Thursday, prompting police and Shuswap Search and Rescue to look for him in the lake, but did not find him before nightfall.
Falito's body was recovered on Friday.
The BC Coroners Service said they are investigating.
His younger sister, Sarah, described Falito as a "big guy with a big heart."
"He was my best friend," she told CBC's Tom Popyk.
"He was just so energetic and you could be in a bad mood, he could come in loud and smiling, and you would forget why you were even mad or sad in the first place."
Falito was born in Alberta, where he played football for the Edmonton Huskies from 2015 until 2017, and later played for the Westshore Rebels in Langford, B.C.
The community of Canoe, B.C., has come together to raise money for Falito's family to offset end-of-life costs.
Canoe Beach Café owner Jim Dunlop, who helped with the search, said $5,000 has already been raised.
"I couldn't pretend to know the family that well but I am aware that he was just a lovely, wonderful young man full of spirit and love for everyone," Dunlop said.
Sarah said her family is grateful for the support from the community.
"The love and support of the community shown for someone they didn't even know is overwhelming," she said.
20 drownings in B.C. this year
According to the Lifesaving Society, there have been 20 drownings so far this year in B.C.
Last week, another 22-year-old man drowned in Cultus Lake. Earlier this month, a 65-year-old man drowned in Okanagan Lake.
Dale Miller, executive director of the B.C. and Yukon branch of the Lifesaving Society, said 80 per cent of drowning victims are men.
"I think because they are mostly young males, it's a lot of risk-taking activity," he told CBC Daybreak South host Chris Walker.
Miller said the best way to prevent drownings is to plan ahead. Knowing the water you're in, being aware of your own abilities and limitations, and being prepared for the worst case scenario are key.
"If the worst case scenario does happen, do you know what you're going to do? Do you have something with you to help either save yourself or someone else that you might see in trouble?" Miller said.
How to help someone struggling in water
If someone appears to be struggling in the water, Miller said the first step a person should take is to try to "talk them in," because most drowning situations happen close — three to five metres away — to safety, such as a dock or the shore.
Additionally, you can throw them a flotation device or something to help get them out of the water.
The last resort is jumping in the water yourself.
"Unfortunately, that could create another victim and that's not what we want to see," Miller said.
If you get into trouble in the water, try not to panic, Miller said.
Instead, turn over on your back and try to float.
"Even the best swimmers can be incapacitated by a cramp or cold water or, in a few situations that we've seen this year, by a current that they didn't expect," Miller said.