Surrey man drowned, remains found by RCMP dive team

Member of the RCMP Underwater Recovery Team gets ready to go diving.
Image Credit: RCMP

OKANAGAN - The remains of a Surrey businessman who drowned while on vacation in Washington have been found, thanks to the efforts of the B.C. RCMP Dive Team and the Okanagan County Sheriff Department.

While vacationing with family and friends on Washington’s Osoyoos Lake earlier this month, John Mele dove into the water and didn’t resurface after he experienced a medical issue.

The Okanagan County Sheriff’s department did a dive search but could not locate Mele’s body. BC RCMP were then asked to help with the search. It took two days to receive proper clearances to investigate the case on the U.S. side of the border.

RCMP were able to locate Mele on August 3 using underwater sonar equipment. He was recovered by Sheriff’s Department divers.

“While we routinely work with our law enforcement partners in the United States on operational and criminal files, assisting with this type of request is unusual. We are thankful the RCMP was able to assist in locating Mr. Mele to help his family find closure,” says RCMP Superintendent Tim Head, Acting District Commander, Southeast District.

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

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