Calgary man presumed drowned in Shuswap Lake

Saturday's search for 25-year-old Kevin Boutilier comes up empty; police not optimistic.

A 25-year-old Calgary man is believed to have drowned Saturday after diving into rough water to retrieve a hat.

Sicamous RCMP Sgt. Dave Dubnyk reported Tuesday that police and victim services staff continue to provide support to family and friends of Kevin Boutilier, whose body has yet to be found.

Boutilier is currently being classified as a missing person and presumed drowned.

On Aug. 24, at approximately 4:15 p.m., police received a report of a possible drowning on Shuswap Lake in Cinnemousun Narrows. Police and marine rescue boats attended with BC Ambulance paramedics onboard. At the scene, officers learned that a group of people were on a rented houseboat when the hat of one of the occupant’s blew off into the water. Some of the people dove in to retrieve it.

“At the time, the weather was becoming inclement and rough water conditions caused the houseboat to drift away from those in the water,” says Dubnyk.

“Two of the individuals started to indicate they were having difficulties, requiring others in the water to come to their aid.”

When last seen, Boutilier, appeared to be in distress, going under several times before failing to resurface. All the others involved made it back to the boat.

Dubnyk says Shuswap Search and Rescue and the RCMP  conducted a thorough search of the area, including nearby shorelines, by water and air.

“Mr. Boutilier has not yet been recovered,” said Dubnyk. “Options for Mr. Boutilier’s recovery are currently being considered; however, this particular area of the lake is very deep and the terrain on the bottom of the lake presents challenges for divers and for the use of sonar equipment.”