Oliver/Osoyoos Search and Rescue was called to assist in a search/recovery mission on the Kettle River on December 30.
Nelson Search and Rescue was notified of an unknown male who was witnessed struggling for survival in the Kettle River ice just east of Grand Forks.
Grand Forks Fire, Grand Forks SAR and RCMP were first on scene and called for the assistance of Nelson SAR who flew one special resource member to the scene, and a swiftwater team followed to aid in the rescue.
Before special resources could arrive on scene to aid the man, he was lost to the river. He was identified as 54-year-old Thomas Charles Grubisic of Grand Forks.
It is unknown how long the individual was in the ice before his calls for help were heard.
The search for the man was called off after dark as the conditions were unsafe for rescuers to continue.
On the morning of December 31, resources from Oliver and Osoyoos and Penticton SAR were brought in to aid in the search, as well as the RCMP dive recovery team. The victim was located at around 10:30 am.
Travel on frozen ponds and lakes needs to be four inches or greater to support human loads safely. River ice can be very unpredictable due to moving water and melt/freeze cycles.
It is never safe to walk on or near ramped river ice without training and proper equipment. Pay close attention to children and pets near frozen rivers.