International student dies at Thetis Lake

A 21-year-old man died after being pulled out of Thetis Lake on Saturday (July 20).

A 21-year-old man died after being pulled out of Thetis Lake on Saturday (July 20).

West Shore RCMP received a 911 call at 12:21 p.m. about a swimmer at the View Royal lake who had vanished underwater and hadn’t resurfaced, said Sgt. Scott Braes of West Shore RCMP.

The man had been pulled from the lake and CPR was being performed when police arrived.  Emergency crews also tried to resuscitate the man before taking him to Victoria General Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

“There are mixed reports of whether he was a weak swimmer or if he could swim at all,” said Braes. “He certainly wasn’t a strong swimmer.”

The man, an exchange student from Saudi Arabia, was also known to be suffering from leg cramps from a soccer game a couple of days earlier.

The 21-year old man was out in the lake floating on an air mattress before he went underwater. Police are not sure how he became separated from the floatation device.

West Shore RCMP ask people enjoying the outdoors this summer to be safe.

“If you are a non-swimmer or a poor swimmer don’t venture past mid-torso level,” Braes said.  “Wear a life jacket in a boat, canoe or anywhere the water is over your head. This is not just about Thetis, but any body of water.”