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Man drowns in North Vancouver's Rice Lake

Friends and emergency responders performed CPR, but could not save the man
Rice Lake in Metro Vancouver's Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve, seen in November 2010. | fishbulb9 /

A 26-year-old Burnaby man drowned in North Vancouver’s Rice Lake on Saturday afternoon.

Emergency crews were called to the lake in Lynn Headwaters Regional Park around 3:30 p.m. for a report of a man in medical distress.

District of North Vancouver Fire and Rescue crews were the first to arrive on the scene.

Assistant chief Dwayne Derban said it appears a group of friends had been fishing in the north east part of lake and had ended up in the water - possibly to go for a swim.

The man, who was reportedly an inexperienced swimmer, began struggling and eventually sank underwater.

A friend and bystander both jumped in to rescue the man, but "they say he was under for possibly up to two minutes before friends got to him," said Derban.

The man’s friend and bystander pulled him out on to a rock offshore and began performing CPR.

Firefighters wearing PFDs swam out to the rock, then put one of the lifejackets on the unresponsive man and got him back to shore where a team of firefighters and B.C. Ambulance advanced life support paramedics took over CPR.

Efforts to resuscitate the man continued for about an hour, said Derban, including use of a chest compression machine and defibrilator.

The man was declared dead at the scene.

Drownings are uncommon at the lake, which is primarily used for recreational fishing.

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