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UPDATED: Riondel man’s body pulled from Kootenay Lake

A man
A man's body has been recovered from Kootenay Lake.
— image credit: Nelson Star file photo

The body of a Riondel man presumed to have drowned in Kootenay Lake has been recovered.

With the help of Idaho-based Ralston and Associates, Wyatt Earl Davidson, 25, was brought to the surface around 11 a.m. Monday. The BC Coroners Service confirmed his identity this afternoon.

Davidson went missing after jumping from Starbelly Cliff north of Gray Creek — about a 10 meter drop — on June 30. He and a friend were diving at the popular spot when he hit the water awkwardly.

His friend noticed him he was in trouble tried to pull his friend to safety but Davidson slipped under the water and didn’t resurface. He was familiar with the area and was described as an experienced cliff diver.

Using underwater cameras, an RCMP dive team and Nelson Search and Rescue spotted his body resting on a shelf at a depth of 146 feet (44.5 m), about three meters off shore.

RCMP arranged for Gene Ralston to help recover the body. His firm was the same one that located and recovered three youths who drowned in Slocan Lake this year.

Creston RCMP Staff Sgt. Bob Gollan said initially they were expected Monday morning, but arrived a day early. Ralston, his wife, an RCMP officer, and the local conservation officer went out in two boats, but couldn’t find the man.

They were forced off the lake due to high winds, but went out again on Monday at 8 a.m. and located the body about three hours later using a remote underwater vehicle.

The body was turned over to the BC Coroners Service, which continues to investigate.

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