Nishil Ajudia had been enjoying a laughter-filled weekend with friends when he decided to take a quick swim in Lost Lake.
But before the 24-year-old Washington state man could reach the floating dock off the beach he ran into trouble in the still-frigid water and drowned.
"We have no idea what exactly happened," said longtime friend Avani Nadkarni, who was on the beach at the time of the tragedy, last Saturday evening around 6 p.m.
Ajudia, who graduated from Washington State University in 2006 with a degree in computer science, went into the water with roommate and friend, Matt Gnaneswaran.
"...Matt, who swam out there, said that halfway to the dock he was thinking maybe this wasn't such a good idea as he was getting cold and he was getting really tired as well," said Nadkarni from Seattle Wednesday.
As soon as his friends realized Ajudia was in trouble a call was made to 911.
Ajudia has no underlying medical conditions nor had the group been drinking.
At the same time as the emergency calls were made, said Nadkarni, more than a dozen people went into the lake to try and find and rescue Ajudia, who had slipped below the surface.
"Some of the people that were in the water were there for I would say a good half an hour," she said.
"People came out and they were completely red and shivering and I just...want to thank all of them."
Nadkarni said at one point the rescuers, led by a woman who happened to be a lifeguard, lined up, held hands, and walked into the water to try and find Ajudia. But to no avail.
There are no lifeguards on Whistler's beaches, nor is there any type of equipment to help rescue someone in trouble.
Nadkarni said she and her friends would like to see a life-ring or some sort of rescue pole on the dock or beach to help others if a similar situation arose.
Police were on the scene quickly, said Nadkarni, as was the Whistler Fire Rescue Service, but Whistler does not have a dive rescue team.
"Our rescues can enter the water but they do not dive...below the surface," said Fire Chief Rob Whitton.
"We are not trained for that, and we don't have the equipment for that, and we don't have the resources to do it.
"It is based on the number of calls we get for this type of incident, which are very rare even though we do have the number of lakes that we do.
"And it is not a point of just having one person who can dive. Everything that is done from an emergency response platform (means) a minimum of two divers need to enter the water, there needs to be a minimum of two back-up divers for them, and you need a support them as well."
Adjudia's body was recovered Sunday by an RCMP dive team.
Nadkarni praised police and other rescuers saying they were a great help at the scene and after it was clear Ajudia had drowned.
"(Ajudia) was one of those people... you couldn't not like," said Nadkarni, adding that his friends and fraternity brothers held a vigil in Seattle, Wednesday. Ajudia's funeral will be held in his Portland, Oregon home today.
"He loved... producing music, that was a big hobby of his," she said.
"He was a great guy who loved his friends."
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