Drowned Regina man's family upset at failure to help

The family of a Regina man who drowned in Wascana Lake is speaking out about how upset they are that bystanders reportedly failed to call 911 on his behalf.

The family of a Regina man who drowned in Wascana Lake is speaking out about how upset they are that bystanders reportedly failed to call 911 on his behalf.

On Saturday, Darlyn Johns, 47, went into the lake during the afternoon and never came out.

Lani Elliott, a woman who was taking pictures in the park, called 911 when Johns's friend approached her for help.

She said she was told the man had been in the water for half an hour, and that over that time people didn't respond to the friend's desperate pleas to call 911. She described the friend as an older aboriginal man who was distraught and dishevelled.

Darlyn Johns, 47, died Saturday after going into Regina's Wascana Lake. The Regina man had been living under a tree in the park, his son says. (Facebook/CBC)

Johns' body was found the next day.

Speaking to CBC News on Wednesday, Johns' son Zack Stevenson said he's grieving but is also angry over what happened.

He said his father had been in jail but had been released and in recent days had been living under a tree in Wascana Park.

Daughter Melissa Johns said her father was a good man when he was sober, but he had a substance abuse problem and when he got out of jail and asked if he could stay with her, she said no.

"He was trying to come stay here, but I told him he can't because I have my kids and stuff," she said.

Melissa Johns said it bothered her that bystanders didn't help sooner with an emergency phone call.

"Somebody should have gave their phone to that guy because I think if they would have, he'd probably still be alive," she said.

Stevenson said he, too, was upset to hear that several people may have refused to help the friend.

Asked what his father might have been doing in the water, Stevenson said it was a hot day and his father was probably drunk.

Johns' had problems, but he loved him just the same, Stevenson said.

He also said he wished he had been with him on Saturday. Stevenson said if he had, he would have made sure he never went into the water.

A funeral for Johns' is planned for the weekend.