The September 2019 death of a man who drowned in Shuswap Lake after an incident involving two speedboats was ruled accidental in a recently-released coroner’s report with drug and alcohol intoxication noted as contributing factors.
Emergency crews were called to the scene of the accident in the Salmon Arm area of Shuswap Lake at approximately 8:30 p.m. on Sept. 1 2019. They determined that the operator of one of two large power boats involved, identified as 33-year-old Ryan Dieter Hartmann of Lake Country, was missing. An RCMP dive team recovered Hartmann’s body eight days later.
According to the coroner’s report, Hartmann had been operating a 36-foot racing boat fitted with twin engines rated at 700 to 800 horsepower. The second boat involved in the incident was a 28-foot racing boat.
Investigation revealed the two boats were travelling side by side at high speeds when Hartmann’s boat was drawn to the left, touching the side of the other boat. Hartmann is said to have steered sharply to the right, away from the other boat. The report stated the sudden change of direction threw all the occupants of Hartmann’s boat into the lake. All the others who went in the water were rescued by other boaters but Hartmann was reported missing.
The coroners report stated that Hartmann received blunt force trauma to his chest as he was ejected from the boat. A toxicology report found a level of alcohol in his system which the coroner stated is consistent with moderate intoxication as well as mixed drug ingestion. Both the trauma and intoxication are listed as contributing factors in Hartmann’s death which was ruled as accidental by coroner.