Twenty-five year old Kevin Boutilier, a Calgary native and former Chilliwack Bruin, is believed to have drowned Saturday after diving into rough water to retrieve a hat.
Boutilier is currently 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.”
Boutilier played for the Chilliwack Bruins from 2006-08, logging 66 games as a gritty blueliner for the expansion Western Hockey League squad.
Former teammates have posted on his Facebook page.
“Thoughts and prayers for family and friends,” wrote former Bruin captain Nick Holden. “Rest in peace Boots.”
“Boots brother, I remember the first time we met and I liked you right away,” added Matt Cline. “So sad to hear this.”
In lieu of flowers, the Boutilier family asks that donations be made in Kevin’s name to KidsSport Calgary to honour his love of sports.