A local man has died after falling through the ice on the Kettle River just east of Grand Forks on Wednesday (Dec. 30). The BC Coroner’s Service has confirmed the deceased as Thomas Charles Grubisic, aged 54, of Grand Forks.
Grubisic fell through the ice at approximately 2:45 p.m. An RCMP press release stated that a witness saw Grubisic and called police. “RCMP officers arrived on the scene and spotted Grubisic through binoculars and observed him in the water hanging on to the ice edge,” said Cpl. Dan Moskaluk, district advisory NCO, Southeast Division, in the release. “RCMP officers were a distance away when they spotted him and were unable to reach him prior to Grubisic losing his grip and going under.”
On Thursday, RCMP dive teams and search and rescue personnel were able to locate and recover Grubisic, deceased, from the river. The crews, which included personnel from the RCMP, fire/rescue, ambulance, search and rescue units from Nelson, Penticton and Grand Forks, and cold water trained firefighters, found the body at around 11:10 a.m. on Thursday after searching for a couple of hours.
The coroner’s report stated that tracks in the snow indicated that Grubisic was trying to walk across the ice covered river in an area just south of Highway 3 near the Riviera RV Park.