Police identify jet-ski fatality
Police have released the identity of a victim of a jet ski mishap on the West Arm of Kootenay Lake on Saturday.
Nelson resident Randy Geist, 41, died after falling from his jet ski.
Nelson RCMP Cpl. Michael Stefani said police received a call just after 4:30 p.m. Saturday, reporting two people in distress.
“The incident reportedly occurred as the driver …attempted a hard turn, which resulted in both people being thrown from the (personal watercraft) into the lake,” he said. “The (24-year-old) female passenger was rescued with the assistance from a person on the shore, who swam out after seeing the pair were unable to return to the watercraft in the windy conditions.
“By the time the rescuer swam back to assist the driver, (he) could not be located.”
He said Nelson Search and Rescue was immediately called upon and conducted a search of the lake, using both boat and helicopter, but the search was suspended when it became too dark to continue.
The next morning, Sunday, saw the search under way once more, and a body, believed to be that of the missing driver, was discovered under about 40 feet of water. RCMP dive teams were sent in to help recover the body.
“The driver of the watercraft was not wearing a life jacket at the time, and alcohol is believed to be factor,” Stefani added.
The investigation continues, and police are asking anyone who may have witnessed the accident to contact the Nelson detachment at 250-352-2156.