Still no sign of missing Kamloops jet skier 1 month after river crash

Police have yet to find any sign of the man, who is presumed deceased

  • Aug. 29, 2018 8:53 a.m.

-Kamloops this Week

As of Wednesday, aug. 29, it will be exactly one month since a jet skier went missing following a crash on the South Thompson River and police have yet to find any sign of the man, who is presumed deceased.

RCMP Cpl. Jodi Shelkie said police have searched the river, but isn’t sure if Kamloops Lake has been patrolled.

“At this point, we’re waiting for the body to surface and we don’t know where that will be or when,” said Shelkie.

On the afternoon of July 29, two men riding separate jet skis on the river near Holman Road collided when one driver crashed into the other while attempting to make a U-turn. Both men went into the water, but only the one who made the turn resurfaced. He managed to make it back to shore and police soon arrived to search for the other man.

RELATED: Kamloops RCMP say search for missing jet ski driver now a recovery mission

The RCMP’s dive team searched for the next two days, concentrating on an area between the Valleyview boat launch and the Lafarge Bridge.

Additional searches by local police via boat and the RCMP helicopter were held in the days that followed.

“We don’t make a conscious decision and say, ‘Let’s scale it back.’ We do everything that we can, up front, and then as time permits,” Shelkie said.

The missing jet ski operator — a man in his early 30s — was wearing a life jacket at the time, but it was one that had to be manually deployed and police are not sure if it had been activated.

The other jet skier was uninjured, Shelkie said, noting there are no charges pending against the man who crashed into the boater who went missing.

The accident was the second of two jet ski crashes that occurred on the river in that area in a two-month span.

In May, two other jet ski operators collided on the river in a similar area, but both survived. One man sustained a leg injury while his friend broke a toe.

In both accidents, the boaters knew each other and were out on the water together.

“People need to practise proper boating safety,” Shelkie said, noting boating comes with similar responsibilities to driving a car.

“People need to wear proper floatation devices, maintain your distance between vehicles — whether it’s a manually powered boat or a boat with an engine — don’t drink and drive,” she said.

RELATED: River closed in Kamloops as RCMP search for missing man

City officials have cautioned boaters to operate their vessels in a safe manner, but noted the municipality has no jurisdiction over the rivers.

Byron McCorkell, the city’s community and protective services director, said the last conversation he remembers the city having regarding safety on the rivers was 10 years ago, when some boaters suggested a speed limit between the bridges.

“There is more and more boating activity on the river. I think it’s a conversation the community might want to have [now],” McCorkell said, adding it would be up to council to determine whether it would support raising such a concern with the appropriate level of government.

Kamloops Mayor Ken Christian said he thinks behaviour on the river is the problem.

“The main thing here is respect that river,” he said, noting the rivers are more dangerous than they seem due to the currents. “It’s much different than aquatic activities on a lake.”

Transport Canada sets and enforces regulations for boaters.

Until 1999, anyone could operate a boat, regardless of boating safety knowledge, experience or training. Today, boaters must obtain a proof of competency, such as a pleasure craft operator card.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Cuteness overload: duckling thinks dog is its mom

Photographer Fiona Hook shot a cute video after noticing one of her ducklings had taken a special liking to her dog.

Fire near Vernon airport “not a concern”

Vernon firefighters attended the scene and found a resident performing a controlled burn

Keep an eye on this up-and-coming Vernon director

15-year-old Bowen O’Brien celebrates filmmaking successes.

Visiting author gets personal

Keri Lefave will be reading from her book, Unfinished, at the Vernon Public Library on Saturday, April 27th at 11 a.m.

Vernon poet launches new book

Kerry Gilbert’s new work, a cautionary tale through the guise of little red riding hood, will launch at the Caetani Cultural Centre’s Studio Gallery April 26 at 7 p.m.

Update: Fire destroys Peachland home on Somerset Avenue

Crews are still on scene pumping water onto the blaze

Waste not: Kootenay brewery leftovers feed the local food chain

Spent grains from the Trail Beer Refinery are donated to local farmers and growers, none go to waste

Summerland student examines effects of sound

Science fair project will go to national competition in New Brunswick

Sons of Anarchy’s Kim Coates stops by Okanagan café

Coates was spotted in West Bank’s Kekuli Café on April 20

B.C. women make 2,200 cabbage rolls for charity

The money raised was donated to former NHL player Aaron Volpatti, who is raising funds for ALS

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, 35 people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

B.C. mom wages battle to get back four kids taken from her in Egypt

Sara Lessing of Mission has help from Abbotsford law firm

B.C. mountain biker sent home from hospital twice, despite broken vertebrae

Released in Maple Ridge to go home with three fractured vertebrae

Seven tips to travel safely this Easter long weekend

An average of three people are killed, and hundreds more injured, each Easter long weekend in B.C.

Most Read