A Delta man died on Father’s Day after diving in to save his daughter who had slipped into a waterfall near Kelowna.
Kashif Sheikh, 46, and a father of four, was able to rescue his daughter after she fell into the water near the Mill Creek waterfall east of Kelowna around 5:30 p.m. on Sunday.
The girl was able to get to shore but her father wasn’t.
Bystanders were able to pull Sheikh from the water and began CPR before paramedics, who arrived after a 911 call, took over.
“Despite the best efforts of everyone involved, the 46-year-old man could not be resuscitated and passed away,” said Cpl. Jocelyn Noseworthy of the Kelowna RCMP.
“RCMP victim services is providing support to the witnesses and the victim’s family. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his loved ones during this difficult time.”
Raza Khan, a friend of Sheikh’s for more than 10 years, said Monday he was heartbroken for the family.
“He’ a very nice guy,” Khan said. “He was such a nice person, he was very lively, very outgoing, loves his kids. They were the centre of his universe.”
Khan said the family — his wife and their two sons and two daughters — had gone to Kelowna on Saturday for a short weekend trip.
“It was Father’s Day; they went for a drive. He wanted to have a good time,” he said.
Sheikh worked as a mortgage broker for Nationwide Realty in Surrey and also worked for the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority at Vancouver airport.
“A couple days ago we were together, we shared a lot of things together,” Khan said. “We were good friends, we talked a lot about things he wanted to do. He was such a good guy; the community knows him and his good works, a very loving father. He was always at the front of the line to help.”
Nationwide Realty paid tribute to Sheikh in a Facebook post.
“RIP. You are a true hero and will always be remembered in our hearts,” it read.
Ashraf Maitla, who first got to know Sheikh as a cricket teammate 16 years ago, said he came to be a great friend.
“He was such a jolly person,” said Maitla, who is working with the B.C. Muslim Association to help Sheikh’s family return his body to the Lower Mainland.
He said Sheikh was a good athlete — before retiring several years ago to focus on his family, he was the captain of their cricket team, Cosmos, playing as an all-rounder — and both he and his daughter were decent swimmers.