On Tuesday three people drowned at a west-central Alberta waterfall. The three have been identified as a couple; Dr PartabRai Oad, 38, his wife Venjhar Oad, 38, and their nephew Anoop Kumar Oad, 25 an engineering student at the University of Alberta. Partab was a practising doctor and had just moved his family to Edmonton a few years ago.
A family member to the deceased, Wakash, has reported that the three had gone swimming at Crescent Falls, west of Nordegg, Alta when Anoop drowned, and the couple rushed to his rescue but were swept too. The couple’s children aged 10, 6, and 3 were at the scene, and they shouted for help when they saw their parents drowning. Wakash said the three were now in the care of relatives. Two GoFundMe campaigns have been launched to cater to the surviving children and the funeral expenses.
According to Kelly Carter, CEO of the Lifesaving Society of Alberta and Northwest Territories they had recorded 17 cases of drowning this year a double of the cases recorded last year. Carter said the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to the surge as more people were going to swim and fewer supervised these swimming areas. Additionally, Carter said they encouraged people to go to designated swimming spots at provincial parks and beaches. She pointed out that the safest place to go swimming was recreation facilities where there were supervised lifeguards.