WATCH: Two men in their 20’s have died after running into trouble while swimming at a Salt Spring Island lake Tuesday evening. April Lawrence reports.
It’s a place people go to have fun and cool off from the summer heat.
But Tuesday evening a swim in Weston Lake on Salt Spring Island turned tragic when two young men had to be pulled from the water.
“There was one patient that had been brought to shore by civilians and they were doing CPR on them,” said Acting Chief Arjuna George with Salt Spring Fire Rescue.
Salt Spring Fire launched its water rescue boat to go and search for the other man.
Fire officials say they found him about 16 metres offshore and about 2.5 metres under the surface of the water.
Both men were taken to hospital but later died.
It’s a tragedy that has shaken the very quiet community.
“It’s awful, ya it’s really horrible, I couldn’t sleep last night just thinking about it,” said Gladys Campbell who lives a few houses down from where the tragedy happened.
Campbell says when she heard what was happening her daughter, who is a doctor, ran to help.
“They were managing it really well but she was just an extra pair of hands with resuscitation,” she said.
The Coroner is now investigating and says it appears there were three men, all from out of town, swimming at the lake together when one started to struggle.
“The first person who passed away appeared to be swimming out to a dock and appeared to get into trouble. The second one, as I understand it, went out to assist him and he also got into trouble as well,” said Regional Coroner Matt Brown.
But now the focus is trying to figure out why.
“Some of the things the investigation will be looking to cover are things around swimming ability, whether alcohol and drugs were involved, familiarity with the body of water,” Brown said.
Gladys Campbell says the lake isn’t what it seems if you aren’t familiar with it — there is a hidden danger she warns her grandchildren about.
“It’s what we call a bottomless lake, it has feet and feet and feet of soft silt, mud that just goes on,” she said.
Whether that was a problem encountered at the lake Tuesday evening will likely be part of the investigation.
A search for answers getting underway as family, friends, and an entire community try to come to terms with the sudden loss of two young lives.