The BC Coroners Service has identified Donald Morris, 64, as the victim in this past Saturday’s drowning on Kootenay River.
Nelson RCMP received a call at approximately 4:22 p.m. Saturday to report a possible drowning at lower Marsden Road, just west of the Taghum Bridge. Several people had gathered on a rock outcropping known as Coyote Point to cool off in the slow moving river.
Witnesses told police that Morris dove into the river for a swim, surfaced, and then swam out of sight. When other members of his party noticed he did not come to shore they conducted an extensive search of the area. They found him under about 3.6 metres of water in an area not accessible.
RCMP and the BC Ambulance Service were first on the scene, but without aid of a boat were unable to get to the man. Listening to the scanner at the Beasley Fire Hall, members of that volunteer crew dispatched their new Sea Doos and arrived on scene shortly after police and they were able to pull Morris out of the water.
CPR was started on the rocks and once the Nelson Search and Rescue boat arrived the victim was transferred and brought to Nelson via the river where paramedics continued to attempt resuscitation. The boat was met at the city wharf by ambulance and the victim was transported to Kootenay Lake Hospital. Efforts to revive the man were ultimately unsuccessful.
The BC Coroners Service is now taking the lead on the investigation into the death and have not released any details as of Tuesday afternoon.
Police are reminding the public that due to unseasonably high waters and rapid currents on the Kootenay River that extreme caution must be taken when swimming in these areas.