Two Winnipeg men have died after an apparent drowning at Lake of the Woods in Kenora, Ont.

Ontario Provincial Police told CTV Winnipeg that the underwater searchers recovered the bodies of 19-year-old Arwinder Brar and 20-year-old Pawan Preet Brar on Friday evening.

They had been searching the scene since receiving a report of two swimmers in distress in McLeod Park, in Kenora, Ont., on Thursday afternoon.

Darshan Kaila, Pawan’s relative and the employer of both men, said the two had travelled to the area with friends for a day trip, intending to be back in Winnipeg later that evening to work.

“It's a loss we cannot recover (from),” Kaila told CTV Winnipeg.

Both men came to Canada from India about six years ago, and Kaila says Pawan sponsored his immigration.

Kaila says the OPP told him that the two men were standing on the edge of the lake on loose rocks when one slipped in. The other man tried to save the first, but also fell into the water, Kaila says he was told. Those details have not yet been confirmed. Kaila says that he’s trying to reach out to others who were there to better understand what happened.

He also says he hopes the incident will serve as a lesson for newcomers to Canada to be careful around water, as they may not fully understand the potential dangers.

With a report from CTV Winnipeg’s Beth Macdonell