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Man drowns in North Vancouver lake

A 26-year-old man drowned in North Vancouver’s Rice Lake Saturday afternoon.

Firefighters got a call around 3:30 p.m. for a water rescue at the lake, District of North Vancouver Asst. Chief Dwayne Derban told CTV News.

The man was “a little ways off the beaten track,” and it took some time for crews to get to him, he said.

Two firefighters went up the trail to the north side of the lake, where they spotted a group of people on a rock 100 metres away from the shore, he said.

According to a witness, the man was under water for about two minutes.

The first responders swam out to the rock, where the drowning victim was receiving chest compressions from a friend and a bystander who swam out to help, Derban said.

A firefighter then put a floatation device on the victim and swam him back to shore.

BCEHS arrived and performed CPR for about an hour, but were unable to revive the man.

“This lake is more of a fishing lake, definitely not a swimming lake,” Derban said. “If you do swim, make sure you know your capacity. If you have any doubts, make sure you wear a life preserver.”

He said overestimating your swimming abilities is not only a danger to your own safety. “The reality is when you do that, it’s not only yourself you’re putting at risk, it’s your friends, it’s bystanders, it’s professional rescue crews who have to come.”

Last month, North Vancouer RCMP released a water safety warning as summer-like weather arrived early in the city.

“With the beautiful and sunny weather we’ve had lately, we wanted to take time and remind North Van residents to tread carefully when spending time around the water,” said Cst. Mansoor Sahak in the release.

“It is vitally important to be mindful of areas of fast-flowing water and strong currents, even if you do not plan on getting wet. Slippery rocks, drop-offs and unseen debris can lead to potentially dangerous situations,” he continued.

Mounties gave safety tips including wearing a life jacket, staying out of the water if you can’t swim, letting someone know before you go to a lesser-travelled area and not drinking alcohol before getting in water.

The man’s death comes after a toddler was hospitalized after nearly drowning in Cultus Lake earlier this week.

According to the Lifesaving Society of BC and Yukon, a charity aimed at preventing drowning deaths, this was the seventh drowning in B.C. this year. Top Stories


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