A 12-year-old girl is missing and presumed drowned after disappearing into deep water at Skaha Lake in Penticton Sunday afternoon.
(Update: the girl's body has been found. She has been identified as Ida Lynn Marie Holt Scherer of 70 Mile House.)
At around 2:30 p.m., Penticton RCMP, Fire Rescue, and Search and Rescue launched a land, water and air search for the girl, who was staying with Penticton relatives.
The girl's name has not been released but Radio NL aired a brief interview with her brother, Marcus Scherer of Kamloops, on Monday.
According to witness reports to police, the girl was with family members her age or slightly older playing in waist deep water when she dropped into a dangerous and deep section near a channel where the Okanagan River spills into Skaha Lake.
A relative speaking to Penticton media said the family doesn't understand why the dangerous area doesn't have posted warnings, a log barrier or a lifeguard.
Penticton RCMP Cpl. Don Wrigglesworth said the area is dangerous with undertow and deep water, and several drownings have occurred there.
"There's huge (warning) signs and knowledge . . . wear a lifejacket, don't swim there," he said.
In fact, on Sunday rescue personnel had to retrieve people in distress in the waterway while searching for the missing girl.
"I'd like to remind families they should supervise their children when they're swimming and wear a lifejacket," he said.
An Alberta man drowned in the same area last summer trying to rescue his daughter who was floating away on an inflatable raft. The girl survived.