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Body of young man from Surrey missing in Cultus Lake recovered

‘Our thoughts and deepest condolences go out to this man’s family and friends’
BC RCMP underwater recovery team located body of man from Surrey in Cultus Lake on Aug. 15, 2023. (Twitter/UFVRD)

The body of a Surrey man in his 20s presumed drowned in Cultus Lake has been recovered after almost a month of searching.

Ajay Singh, 22, went missing in Cultus Lake on July 19 after slipping into the water off a tube to rescue one of his friends.

His body was recovered from the lake midday on Aug. 15.

“Our thoughts and deepest condolences go out to this man’s family and friends,” says RCMP Sgt. Krista Vrolyk, spokesperson for the Chilliwack RCMP. “We are so sorry for your loss.”

Joban Preet was one of group of three friends who gathered by the water at Cultus Lake on July 21, putting up posters titled, ‘Justice for Ajay!’ and asking for the search to be taken seriously. He said they were told they might have to wait until his body resurfaced.

“It is very upsetting,” he said.

It is the fourth drowning death in the area in a span of four weeks.

“These deaths are devastating to family and friends but also take its toll on emergency personnel,” Vrolyk said.

Everyone is asked to do their part to ensure water safety.

“Wear a lifejacket, do not enter the water if you do not know how to swim, use the buddy system – never swim alone and do not enter the water if you are impaired by alcohol or drugs.”

Emergency responders were called out to Cultus Lake just after 5 p.m. on Wednesday (July 19) including Chilliwack RCMP, Cultus Lake Fire Department, BC Emergency Health Services and Chilliwack Search and Rescue after reports of a possible drowning. Witnesses told officials that the man who entered the water was trying to rescue his friend who he believed was drowning.

RELATED: Team searching for missing Surrey man

RELATED: 4th drowning was man in his 30s at Lindeman Lake

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Jennifer Feinberg

About the Author: Jennifer Feinberg

I have been a Chilliwack Progress reporter for 20+ years, covering the arts, city hall, as well as Indigenous, and climate change stories.
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