Kelowna teen who died cliff jumping on Skaha Lake, mourned as school year begins | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna teen who died cliff jumping on Skaha Lake, mourned as school year begins

This area on Skaha Lake is well known for cliff jumping.
September 03, 2019 - 3:00 PM

KELOWNA - Critical response team members have been set up at Kelowna high schools, to help teachers and students who are mourning the death of a former student.

Recent graduate Kurtis Roy, 18, has been identified as the Kelowna teen who died this weekend, after cliff jumping more than 33 metres into  Skaha Lake.

“They are monitoring and seeing if anyone needs supporter and counselling,” Kevin Kardaal, superintendent of Central Okanagan schools said. These team members are available during traumatic situations, such as these.

Skaha Lake’s jumping cliffs, a basalt outcrop jutting into Skaha Lake about three kilometres north of Okanagan Falls on Eastside Road, offer jumping spots from 10 to 15 feet above the water to upwards of 70 feet.

They attract people every summer, despite the risk they have proven to offer in years past.

Multiple deaths and drownings have been recorded at the site, once prompting former Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen director Jeanne Lamb to head a movement in the 1990s to bring awareness and attention to their inherent dangers.

At the time, Lamb arranged to have a plaque made and placed on a rock in the vicinity of one of the jump-off spots, but over the years it has disappeared.

Lamb said four victims were noted, though more deaths and serious injuries have occurred on the bluffs.

Other attempts were made at the time to discourage access to the bluffs, by adding cement curbing along Eastside Road to make parking difficult and by erecting fences, but people continued to use the site.

Lamb said the danger in jumping is in hitting the water the wrong way, as opposed to hitting the cliff face, which naturally projects out into the lake.

Recent graduate Kurtis Roy, 18, has been identified as the  Kelowna teen who died Sunday, Aug. 30,  after cliff jumping more than 33 metres into  Skaha Lake.
Recent graduate Kurtis Roy, 18, has been identified as the Kelowna teen who died Sunday, Aug. 30, after cliff jumping more than 33 metres into Skaha Lake.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK

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