August 10, 2015 - 1:01 PM
KELOWNA – RCMP have confirmed a man free diving in Okanagan Lake in Kelowna Sunday is in hospital in critical condition.
Police did not name the man but said the 27-year-old was submerged for several minutes before being brought to the surface by his girlfriend, who is also a free diver.
“After several minutes she noticed he hadn’t resurfaced and thought he might have swam out to a friend’s boat," Cpl. Joe Duncan says. "After she brought him to the surface, two brothers on paddle boards brought him to shore.”
Free diving is an extreme sport where participants try to go as deep as possible for as long as possible without the aid of oxygen. World champion free diver Natalia Molchanova died last week when she failed to resurface from a recreational free dive. The 53-year-old was diving for fun off Formentera, a Spanish island near Ibiza, when she failed to surface.
A witness, who watched Sunday's accident unfold from a boat, says the victim’s parents pulled the man onto the beach in Knox Mountain Park and performed CPR.
That’s when crews from Kelowna Fire Rescue arrived.
Platoon Capt. Scott Cronquist says they were called around 3:10 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 9, for a report of a man drowning. Firefighters arrived at the same time as B.C. Ambulance paramedics.
“We responded with the marine rescue boat, a bush truck and the gator in case we needed to transport the patient out,” Cronquist says. “CPR was in progress and our guys assisted with patient care and transportation.”
The victim was flown by helicopter to Kelowna General Hospital, Duncan says, and remains in the intensive care unit and is undergoing testing.
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— This story and headline was edited at 12:52 p.m., Aug. 10, 2015, to more accurately describe events with additional informatin from the Kelowna RCMP.
— This story and headline was edited at 7:50 a.m., Aug. 10, 2015, to more accurately describe events.
— This story was updated at 10:40 a.m., Aug. 10, 2015, to add new information.
— This story was updated at 12:59 p.m., Aug. 10, 2015 to add new information from the RCMP.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015