A 43-year-old businessman from Surrey lost his life while boating in Osoyoos Lake in Washington on the holiday weekend.

According to sheriff’s reports, John Mele did a backflip from the side of his boat and resurfaced only for a moment before sinking. He was enjoying an afternoon on the lake with a long-time friend and his three children ages 14, 10 and 8. His wife, Debbie, was on the shore at the time of the accident.

Mele, a real estate developer, was known in the hockey community as a part-owner of the Surrey Eagles junior A hockey team. He also coached his son’s baseball team.

Family friends are grateful to search and rescue teams on both sides of the border as well as local divers from Osoyoos who assisted in the search.

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