RCMP believe they have located body of Riondel man in Kootenay Lake

Diving accident occurred at Starbelly Cliff on Kootenay Lake just north of Gray Creek.

Update: The Creston RCMP  believe they have located the body of the 25-year-old man in Kootenay Lake resting on a shelf in a water depth of 146 feet.

RCMP Staff Sgt. Robert Gollan, Detachment Commander in Creston, said that divers and Nelson Search and Rescue spent yesterday looking for the body of the man who went missing after he jumped into the water with a friend on the evening of June 30.

As the divers were limited to a depth of 115 feet, they used underwater cameras to find what they believe is the deceased.

The RCMP said at that depth and location there is little to no current.

The RCMP have made arrangements for Jean Ralston of Ralston and Associates to assist in the recovery of the body on Monday. Ralston came highly recommended to the RCMP from the divers and search and rescue teams involved with the recovery of three youth from the depths of Slocan Lake this June.

The young man’s family has been notified. The BC Coroner will likely not release his name until the recovery whereupon his identity can be confirmed.

Reported earlier:

A 25-year-old Riondel man is presumed drowned after a swimming accident Monday afternoon.

At about 4:45 p.m., Creston RCMP were called to Starbelly Cliff on Kootenay Lake just north of Gray Creek.

Police say two men had been diving at the popular spot, well known to the local community, when one hit the water awkwardly.

The second man tried to pull his friend to safety but the unconscious swimmer slipped under the water and did not resurface.

The man is presumed drowned. He was familiar with the area having been a long time resident and was described as an experienced cliff diver.

The name of the victim is being withheld pending notification of his next of kin.

The RCMP Underwater Recovery Team and Nelson Search and Rescue continue efforts to recover the body, which is believed to be in approximately 170 feet of water.

(CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misnamed the cliff where the tragedy occurred.)

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