Drowning victim identified

A 24-year-old male foreign exchange student has drowned in Hope's Kawkawa Lake. His body was recovered on Monday morning by the RCMP Underwater Recovery Team (URT).

The name of the 24 year old Kenyan male who drown in Kawkawa Lake is now being released.  Felix Odera was in the Hope area with other exchange students when he entered the water at Kawkawa Lake and drown.  Felix was a student of UBC and had been since 2007.

Felix was part of a group known as the Inter Varsity Christian Fellowship out of UBC and had  rented a facility at Kawkawa Lake for the day.  Felix was described as a bright student who was well liked by all.

“It’s a really sad accident and our thoughts are with Felix’s family and friends right now,” said Cst. Tracy Wolbeck.  The coroner’s investigation is still continuing.

The incident took place on Sunday afternoon when the student, from Kenya, entered the water from a floating dock approximately 70 feet from the beach area.

When he failed to surface, Hope RCMP were called to the scene. The initial search turned up nothing. The next day, at approximately 9:35 a.m., his body was recovered by the RCMP Underwater Recovery Team (URT).

With calm waters and weather, the team spotted the man’s body, located 24 feet down in the lake. A team of five members from the URT assisted with the recovery.

The Coroner’s Office attended and determined that foul play was not suspected at this time.

The body was transported to the Royal Columbian Hospital for an autopsy. Confirmation of cause of death has not been determined.

There were approximately 16 young adults, all of whom were foreign exchange students,  who were together at the lake when the incident occurred.  Four or five of the students were on the floating dock when the male entered the water.  “The early stages of the investigation point to the young man being unable to swim,” said Cst. Tracy Wolbeck.  “It’s a really sad accident and very upsetting for the people who witnessed it.”

The RCMP would like to urge anyone who is around the water to weae a life jacket or another approved floatation device.

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