Divers looking for missing boaters after Saturday evening collision

Osoyoos commander Sgt. Jason Bayda and two other RCMP members head out to the search site in Osoyoos Lake's central basin.

An RCMP dive team is looking for two missing boaters this afternoon after a collision involving two boats on Osoyoos Lake Saturday evening.

“We pulled three people from the water last night,” said Sgt. Jason Bayda, the Osoyoos detachment’s commander, Sunday afternoon. “We’re still looking for two more people.”

The search effort, involving an RCMP Underwater Recovery Team, is focused on water between the Hwy. 3 bridge and Swiws Provincial Park.

Sgt. Bayda said local RCMP received numerous reports of the collision Saturday evening, adding that both boats sank quickly.

He declined to provide more details.

RCMP boats patrol Osoyoos Lake between Hwy. 3 and Swiws Provincial Park Sunday afternoon.

Carmen Martins of Osoyoos reported to Global News that she was sitting near the beach around 7:15 p.m. when she saw the collision between what she described as an aluminum fishing boat and a “red boat.”

“This other boat, a red boat — a long red boat — it just came from nowhere,” she told Global News.

Both boats sank almost immediately, she added.

Osoyoos firefighters and five ambulances responded following the collision.

The lake has a depth of about 15 metres in the search area, according to an online fishing chart. Osoyoos Lake has a maximum depth of about 63 metres.

Anyone who was a witness to this incident and has not already spoken to police is asked to contact the Osoyoos RCMP Detachment at 250-495-7236.

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