Coroner rules 2016 drownings on Salt Spring likely due to lake weeds

The BC Coroner's Service says 2 Japanese men who drowned at Salt Spring Island  almost 3 years ago likely became tangled in lake weeds, and pulled down.

It was on August 16th, 2016,  Ryo Yamaguchi  and Masashi Shintani -- both 25, and both good swimmers -- went for a swim in Weston Lake with a friend.

They were attempting to get to a floating platform about 50 metres from shore.  But about a third of the way across, Yamaguchi began struggling, and disappeared below the water.

Shintani called to his other friend who went to help Yamaguchi.  As that friend dove to find the missing man, Shintani began displaying signs of panic, and rescuers from the beach went to his aid.

Both men were brought to shore -- but neither could be resuscitated. 

The Coroner's service say the reasons for the simultaneous deaths remain unexplained, as neither man had injuries to their bodies, and there was no alcohol or drugs in their systems.

Based on the area where the men got into trouble, and the excessive underwater growth of weeds and their roots systems, the coroner concludes the men were likely trapped in the weeds and pulled under.

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