Local sailors rescue Vancouver family from sinking Sea-Doo on Okanagan Lake

Local sailors rescue Vancouver family from sinking Sea-Doo on Okanagan Lake

Gregory Payne was on his boat on Sunday, Aug. 30, when he saw the family and their overturned Seadoo

Gregory Payne and his sailing partner Bryan Miller were out on Okanagan Lake, Sunday morning, Aug. 30, when they saw something odd near the south end of the William R. Bennett Bridge.

“I noticed in the distance there was something that looked like a whale or something sticking its head up. We decided to sail closer because we were a-ways-away,” Payne said.

“As we got closer, we saw figures around the whale, which was actually a Sea-Doo. They started waving and yelling for help.”

Payne said they pulled a father and his two children out of the water and into their boat. The family was visiting from Vancouver, camping in the Okanagan for the weekend.

The father was that of Omur Terzioglu, who said he went Kelowna Boat Rentals to pick up two Sea-Doos on Sunday morning for himself, his 19-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter. The trio had been travelling north on the lake when they decided to turn back and return the watercraft at about 10:50 a.m.

“We were turning slowly… I turned towards the port when the Sea-Doo started losing its stability. The craft itself went more and more into port until it threw us off,” he said.

A marine engineer with Transport Canada trained in deep-sea survival techniques, Terzioglu sprang into action. He quickly handed off his daughter to his son, who was still on the other vessel before her body temperature dropped. He then worked on trying to turn the other Sea-Doo right side up.

“It wasn’t turning easily. I did manage to turn it over and it was afloat for a bit, but it showed signs the hull was taking in water. I tried to get back on it, but I understood right away there was water inside and it wasn’t stable.”

“The Sea-Doo took more water around its backside, and it started to sink,” Terzioglu said.

Despite his years of experience, he added he was terrified the moment the watercraft started tilting, especially since he had his children to protect. But Terzioglu said it was thanks to his training and Payne and Miller’s help that he and his family were able to get back to shore safely.

Now, Terzioglu said he wants Kelowna Boat Rentals to be more vigilant when monitoring their vessels and ensuring they are safe before renting them out.

“I’m going to discuss this matter with the boating safety office so we can make it safer for others and to make sure no one else experiences an incident like this,” he said.

Black Press Media has reached out to Kelowna Boat Rentals. They have not responded to a request for comment as of publication.

We will provide an update as more information becomes available.

READ: Bernard Avenue set to reopen to motorists after Labour Day long weekend


Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at twila.amato@blackpress.ca
Follow me on Twitter

Boating

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A map released by the BCCDC on Jan. 15 shows the number of new COVID-19 cases reported for each local health area between Jan. 3 and 9. (BCCDC Image)
Salmon Arm and Vernon see increase in new COVID cases, curve flattening elsewhere

The rate of new cases is levelling off in Kelowna, Penticton and Revelstoke.

The Premier Hotel on Summerland’s Main Street and the taxi were owned by Bill and Lydia Johnston. Today, the building is Sass Fashions in Summerland. H.S. Kenyon, who moved the building to Summerland from Midway, continued with building construction. His family now operates Greyback Construction. (Photo courtesy of the Summerland Museum)
Two former Summerland hotel buildings have been moved over the years

Transport of buildings is part of community’s history

Interior Health update. File photo.
86 new COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Interior Health

The new deaths are from Heritage Square, a long-term care facility in Vernon

Caroline McKay
COLUMN: Bring books out of hibernation for the new year

Plenty of lesser-known works from famous authors available from the library

The trailer’s occupant fled the scene of the fire because he was afraid, officials were told. 
(Andrea DeMeer- Spotlight)
Princeton trailer fire deemed not suspicious

Man fled the scene because he was afraid, officials were told

Keith the curious kitten is seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 17 to 23

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, Pie Day and International Sweatpants Day are all coming up this week

Half of the most expensive homes are on 2080 Mackenzie Crt, which is across the street from Revelstoke Mountain Resort. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
The 10 most valuable homes in Revelstoke for 2020

Combined, the properties are worth more than $35M

Lake Country native Evan-Riley Brown is in the cast for the new film Journey To Royal: A WW II Rescue Mission to be released on video on demand and streaming services on Feb. 2. (Contributed)
Okanagan actor lands role in WW II movie

Evan-Riley Brown, from Lake Country, cast in production labelled as hybrid of a feature film and documentary called Journey To Royal: a WW II Rescue Mission.

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
More than 20 days have passed since the last case of COVID-19 was confirmed at Lakeside Manor. (File photo)
Salmon Arm retirement facility reopens social areas after COVID-19

More than 20 days have passed since last confirmed case at Lakeside Manor

A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Standardized foundation skills assessment tests in B.C. schools will be going ahead later than usual, from Feb. 16 to March 12 for students in Grades 4 and 7. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. teachers say COVID-affected school year perfect time to end standardized tests

Foundational skills testing of Grade 4 and 7 students planned for February ad March

Sooke’s Jim Bottomley is among a handful of futurists based in Canada. “I want to help people understand the future of humanity.” (Aaron Guillen - Sooke News Mirror)
No crystal ball: B.C. man reveals how he makes his living predicting the future

63-year-old has worked analytical magic for politicians, car brands, and cosmetic companies

Terry David Mulligan. (Submitted photo)
Podcast: Interview with longtime actor/broadcaster and B.C. resident Terry David Mulligan

Podcast: Talk includes TDM’s RCMP career, radio, TV, wine, Janis Joplin and much more

Most Read