‘A loss we cannot recover’: Victim’s relative warns newcomers after Winnipeg men drown in Kenora
The deaths of two young Winnipeg men in Kenora at Lake of the Woods has loved ones warning newcomers about the potential dangers of water and the wilderness.
Friday evening Ontario Provincial Police said the Underwater Search and Recovery Unit recovered the bodies of 19-year-old, Arwinder Brar and 20-year-old, Pawan Preet Brar, following a report of two swimmers in distress in McLeod Park on Thursday.
Darshan Kaila is Pawan's close relative and employed both men. He said the two men were friends.
“It's a loss we cannot recover or don't know we are going to cope within our life, but we try within our life, but we try our best to pray and get help from God,” said Kaila.
He said they travelled to the area for a day trip with five other people, and were planning to be back in Winnipeg for a shift later that day, but never made it back.
Kaila said when the pair disappeared he travelled to Kenora and has been receiving updates from police.
“OPP told me they were standing on an edge of the lake, on soft rocks and one guy slipped, and the other guys tried to help them and pulled them down," he said.
Suman Deep Singh is Arwinder and Pawan's co-worker.
He describes them as honest and hardworking and people who will be greatly missed.
“I can't describe in words how much. It's a really big loss,” he said.
Kaila said he still has many questions about what happened. He’s trying to reach out to others near the water that day.
He said Pawan's death is especially difficult because he helped bring him and his family to Canada, through the Provincial Nominee Program.
Kaila said both men came from India about six years ago.
“All the newcomers … you guys are smart, well educated, but still you need advice or someone with you guys.”
He wants to warn newcomers to prevent any more families from experiencing the same heartbreak.
"A lake or camping or wherever you guys go. Please take somebody who has been there before so they have knowledge of the facility," said Kaila.
“This is my advice. This is what we are all thinking.”
Lifesaving Society Manitoba says based on the most recent statistics from 2014, natural bodies of water account for the largest proportion of drowning deaths in Manitoba.
It said children under 5 years of age have the highest drowning death rate in the province, followed by young adults between 20 and 24.