Boats from deadly lake collision
now with RCMP investigators

An RCMP recovery team, including divers, brings the second of two boats involved in a deadly collision Saturday evening to shore.

RCMP now have in their possession the remains of two boats involved in a deadly collision Saturday evening on Osoyoos Lake.

The craft were dragged ashore today at the Swiws Park boat launch and taken to a compound in town.

“From here on, it’s going to be a lengthy investigation,” said Sgt. Jason Bayda, who commands the Osoyoos detachment. “We have a specialist team come in — marine analysts who have been trained in these kinds of investigations.

“It’s not unlike a plane crash or something where you start piecing everything together and try to find out what caused the accident and ultimately the deaths of these two men.”

The bodies of the two men — described only as a 36-year-old male from Maple Ridge and a 35-year-old male from Kamloops — were pulled from the water Sunday evening just after 7 p.m., Sgt. Bayda said.

Three other people — who witnesses describe as two men and a woman — were pulled to safety Saturday evening and taken to hospital by ambulance.

An aluminum boat carrying three passengers was fished out of the lake Monday afternoon.

Family of the two men killed in the collision also gathered at the boat launch today, looking for their own answers.

Sgt. Bayda said it was just too early to determine cause.

“We’ve heard lots of different things and I can tell you right now we’re simply just not going to speculate,” he said. “By the end of it, we’ll know what happened here.”

Family of the deceased were looking for answers.

The family earlier had said they were stumped by the accident, saying there was no way alcohol use  — at least not be the deceased — could be a factor.

“They do not drink alcohol at all, so there is no chance of this,” said the wife of one of the men.

“Both are responsible and both do not consume alcohol at all ever.”

Sgt. Bayda said the recovery effort was focused on water between the Hwy. 3 bridge and Swiws Provincial Park in what fishing charts suggest is about 15 metres of water.

RCMP received numerous reports of the collision Saturday evening.

READ MORE: RCMP divers pull bodies of missing boaters from water

“We’re really hoping those who actually saw the accident, or even saw the boats previous to the accident will call us,” he said, adding lakeshore property owners who video surveillance could help by reviewing their tapes from Saturday evening.

“If they see something on there that they think is important to our investigation — really anything could be important to us — we’d like them to contact us.”

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