The drowning of a 21-year-old man in Lake Bonaventure has prompted a father to renew his call for lifeguards at private lakes.
Emergency crews were called to Lake Bonaventure just before 3 p.m. Wednesday after a man swimming with friends failed to surface. A dive team found the man in about six metres of water.
Emergency workers believe the man may have been submerged for 20 to 30 minutes.
Lake Bonaventure is a private lake in southeast Calgary. There are no lifeguards on duty and only the people who own houses in that lake community or their guests are allowed to go into the water.
News of the drowning shocked Xonam Hini, whose 12-year-old son drowned four years ago in Lake Midnapore,another private lake in Calgary.
Hini said the excuse that lifeguards cost too much money doesn't make sense because there is nothing more important than human life.
"You know, it is only this place that I have seen [where] we have lakes around and no lifeguards there," he said. "I mean, even in Africa, where I came from, this doesn't happen. You must have lifeguards when you have recreational facilities, which include pools or lakesides."
Likem Hini was swimming with a group of friends on a June day in 2002 when he disappeared beneath the surface. Firefighters found theboy's body, but he had been in the water for close to 25 minutes.
He was airlifted to Alberta Children's Hospital and then transferred to the Foothills Hospital, where he died.
After the drowning, the residents group operating Lake Midnapore rejected the idea of hiring lifeguards to patrol the area. The directors reviewedall of the safety procedures at the lake and concluded proper measures were in place.
Hini says his family still hasn't recovered from the loss of their son.