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Heavy intoxication cause of Sawmill Lake drowning: Coroner

A camping trip to a mountain lake above Oliver turned deadly when a woman drowned last June.
Image Credit: shutterstock
June 12, 2015 - 5:26 PM

PENTICTON - A suspicious drowning death that occurred last year in a lake near Oliver has been deemed accidental following a report by the B.C. Coroners Service.

No trauma was found on Grace Marie Capot-Blanc’s body to indicate she was forced into the water. She was, however, heavily intoxicated at the time of her death, and the coroner concluded she inadvertently entered the lake while disoriented and was unable to rescue herself due to her high level of intoxication.

Police discovered her body in Sawmill Lake on June 7, 2014, after receiving a disturbance complaint in which a female was heard calling for help, accompanied by a splashing noise in the lake. Police recovered the body and made a resuscitation attempt, but were unable to revive the woman. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Capo-Blanc, 54, was camping with her husband and another couple when the incident occurred. They were in a tent approximately 40 feet from the water’s edge  while the other couple slept in a truck.

After an evening of high alcohol consumption which included marijuana use, an argument broke out between Capot-Blanc and her spouse, who left the campsite to find another location to sleep.

The coroner noted Capot-Blanc’s history of severe anxiety, depression and chronic alcohol abuse, finding no indications of a suicidal mentality. She was a non-swimmer and afraid of the water, her spouse said.

The coroner made no recommendations, calling the death accidental.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad at or call 250-488-3065. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
InfoTel News Ltd

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