Search and rescue stands down in search for missing Kamloops diver in Okanagan Lake | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Search and rescue stands down in search for missing Kamloops diver in Okanagan Lake

Central Okanagan Search and Rescue volunteers spent 500 hours over nine days trying to find the missing Kamloops diver.
May 25, 2021 - 11:21 AM

After one of the longest search efforts in Central Okanagan Search and Rescue team’s history, the volunteer organization has been ordered by the RCMP to stand down.

The search for Kamloops firefighter Capt. Brian Lannon went on for nine days in Okanagan Lake near the Bennett bridge.

“Not good,” search manager Duane Tresnich told today, May 25, when asked how it felt to have to walk away after all that time.

“We all put a lot of hours in,” he said. “We wanted to bring him home. It’s disappointing. It’s not a good feeling but we did the best that we could.”

The RCMP, while calling off that part of the search, will continue in its efforts.

“The search is not concluded at this time,” Kelowna RCMP spokesperson Const. Solana Paré said in an email. “The West Kelowna RCMP and Underwater Recovery Team will continue efforts to locate the missing diver. The search may not occur on a daily basis, however efforts will not be concluded until the diver is located.”

At nine days, the search is one of, if not, the longest COSAR has conducted.

Tresnich recalls another search, for a man missing in the woods, that lasted six days.

Under B.C. law, search and rescue volunteers are not allowed to conduct underwater searches, he said. Only RCMP divers can do that.

COSAR provided two boats and spent more than 500 hours assisting the RCMP. They also used equipment such as a remote operating vehicle (submarine), a side scanner, underwater camera and a new tool called an “aqua eye” which is a hand-held sonar device.

Lannon entered the lake on May 15 on the north side of the bridge off Hot Sands Beach, Tresnich said, before currents carried him to the south side.

He could not comment on how deep the lake is in that area or the conditions underwater.

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