Man drowns while trying to help person in the water, says Kelowna RCMP

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Wood Lake, north of Kelowna, B.C., is seen in a file photo. (CBC - image credit)
Wood Lake, north of Kelowna, B.C., is seen in a file photo. (CBC - image credit)

A man died Saturday night in a lake north of Kelowna, B.C., while he was apparently trying to help someone in the water, police say.

Kelowna RCMP said the man drowned around 7:30 p.m. Saturday in Wood Lake. His identity has not been released.

Police responded to the incident after boaters reported two men "in distress" in the water. Police described the pair as "passengers" but did not specify if they had been in a boat or other craft.

"The preliminary investigation indicates that the man drowned trying to assist another passenger in the water," Corp. Judith Bertrand said Sunday in a statement.

The Interior Health Authority, which oversees the region, had the highest rate of drownings in the province in 2019, according to the B.C. Coroners Service.

Sunday marked the start of the Lifesaving Society Canada's National Drowning Prevention Week.

In Saturday's incident, the man who was successfully rescued was wearing a life jacket.

"Wearing and having easy access to life jackets made a significant difference in the outcome of this tragic event," Bertrand said.

Wood Lake, with a depth of 34 metres, is just south of Kalamalka Lake. It is known as a popular destination for trout fishing.

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