Frustration and grief: Another drowning at Harrison Lake

Dec 19 2017, 4:46 pm

A grieving Vancouver father is renewing his calls for signage around Harrison Lake, after another young person drowned over the weekend.

Bob Reid lost his 23 year old son Danny in June.

He and a friend, Gary Duong, failed to make it back to shore after the inflatable raft they were on drifted too far out into the lake.

Reid says Gary was swimming close to the float when the winds picked up, and he needed help.

He says Danny dove in and swam to him, but by the time he reached him the wind had blown the float too far for them to return to it.

Last week his family and friends released an online video warning of the dangerously cold temperatures, strong currents and sudden winds on Harrison Lake.

Just five days later, on Friday, a woman in her 20′s also drowned.

“It literally made me sick to my stomach to think that it happened again.”

Reid says he wants to see more warning signs. “Right now the only signs we see are for swimmers itch, and I mean, swimmer’s itch is not going to destroy any family. That water looks like any other lake, and it isn’t.”

The latest drowning victim worked as a waitress in Fort Langley. Beatniks Bistro manager Angela Hazelton released a statement to CKNW saying “It is hard to find words to express our sorrow for the loss of Lyndsay. She was a beautiful soul and a beloved member of our beatniks’ family. Our entire staff is grieving.”

The Mayor of Harrison Hot Springs calls the triple drowning this summer “a terrible tragedy.”

Leo Facio says he’s open to discussing ways the Village can increase awareness of the Lake’s inherent risks.

“How do we post awareness when you have marinas, boat launches, one of which is in a provincial park, cabins on the island, forest service roads, and of course, private homes with boat launches, so there is a lot of areas that would have to come into the discussion.”

Facio says people also need to take precautions, like swimming close to shore and wearing life jackets.

“We would have to discuss this with the other jurisdictions in the area to see how many signs or warnings would be required to take into account all of the areas where people actually go on the lake.”
At the end of the day, Reid says one loss is too many.

“The family has a lot of rough times ahead of them. We lost a child, that is not supposed to happen.”

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