A winery owner and a winemaker have died in a tragic winery accident in southern British Columbia.

Victor Manola, owner of the Silver Sage Winery in Oliver in British Colombia (260km east of Vancouver), was bending over the top of a large plastic tank when he slipped in. His colleague jumped in to save him but also got into difficulties. Both men died in the tank, which had to be drained.

Anna Minola, the owner’s wife, said: ‘The winemaker jumped in to help but he couldn’t get him out.’

CHBC TV, in Kelowna, reported that the 2,270 litre tank was three-quarters full at the time and that rescuers resorted to draining the tank and cutting off its top in order to retrieve the men’s bodies.

The regional coroner’s office and local body the Workers’ Compensation Board are investigating the accident.

Written by Rick Staff11 November 2002