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Warning issued as swimmer dies, boater missing this week in B.C. waters

Coroner says statistics show a spike in drownings beginning in May and rising through August

The BC Coroner’s Service has issued a warning about water safety as the drowning toll reaches five in the province this month.

It also comes a day after the body of a 20-year-old man was pulled from a lake near Squamish, and the RCMP dive team continues to search a lake near Lillooet for a man.

The service says statistics consistently show a spike in drowning deaths beginning in May and rising through August, although there were 47 accidental drownings in 2016, the lowest toll in the past decade.

READ MORE: Body of young man who drowned in Chilliwack Lake recovered

A RCMP news release says its underwater recovery team is searching Gun Lake, about 100 kilometres west of Lillooet, after a man fell into water while boating on June 17.

On Wednesday, a 20-year-old Delta man disappeared in Alice Lake near Squamish and police divers recovered his body the next day.

The coroners service advises that alcohol should never be mixed with swimming, boating or any water-based activity, noting impairment greatly increases the chance of an accidental drowning.

“This is the time of year when we see too many carefree days on the water turn to tragedy due to alcohol, poor judgment or a momentary lapse in supervision of children,” says Dale Miller, executive director, Lifesaving Society – BC & Yukon Branch.

The Canadian Press

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