British Columbia

Man drowns while trying to save daughter from Kelowna creek on Father's Day

A father has drowned after going into a creek in Kelowna, B.C. to help his daughter after she fell into the water on Father's Day.

Girl made it back to the bank of the creek on her own but her father did not, RCMP say

Kashif Sheikh, pictured with his children at Mill Creek in Kelowna, B.C., shortly before his daughter fell into the water on Sunday. Sheikh, 46, died after jumping in to save her. (Submitted by family of Kashif Sheikh)

A father has died in Kelowna, B.C., while trying to save his teenage daughter after she fell into a creek on Father's Day.

The man was at Mill Creek with his family on Sunday when the girl fell into the water near a waterfall, according to an RCMP statement Monday.

The man has been identified as Kashif Sheikh by his family. 

Emergency crews were called to the area at Old Vernon Road and Spencer Road just before 5:30 p.m. PT.

Bystanders pulled the man from the water and started CPR. First responders took over once they arrived, but Sheikh died. He was 46 years old.

His daughter, 13, made it back to the bank of the creek on her own.

Kashif Sheikh, 46, worked as a representative at Nationwide Realty Corp. in Surrey, B.C. (Submitted by family of Kashif Sheikh)

Sheikh's wife confirmed his death in a message via Facebook to CBC News on Monday. The couple have four children.

"He was my whole world. My life is over," she wrote.

An 'open-hearted' man

Sheikh worked as a representative at Nationwide Realty Corp. in Surrey, B.C. 

Adeel Haider, a family friend who got to know Sheikh as they studied together for the mortgage brokerage exams, said he was a loving, family-oriented person. 

"He was very welcoming, open-hearted. Even if you go to a restaurant and sit down and eat, he would like to pay first. He was that kind of person."

Haider recalled spending hours studying at the Sheikh family home, sometimes until 2 or 3 a.m., when Sheikh would get up to make them both tea. 

"I've enjoyed my conversations and my time with him ... He was a very good person."

The family says it has launched a GoFundMe page to help with funeral expenses and to provide some financial resources for the children.

The RCMP and the BC Coroners Service are investigating the death. Mounties said victim services is providing support to witnesses as well as Sheikh's family.


With files from Yvette Brend