After three rescues in three days, the Penticton Fire Department has issued a safety guideline for any members of the public who plan on floating along on the Penticton River channel. File photo

Following series of rescues on Penticton channel, fire crews issues safety guidelines

The Penticton Fire Department had three rescues in three days

After three rescues in three days, the Penticton Fire Department is issuing a safety guideline members of the public who plan on floating along on the Penticton River channel.

“This year the river water is moving very fast trying to unload the high water levels out of Okanagan Lake,” said Penticton fire chief Larry Watkinson. “Although it doesn’t look like the water is moving fast due to the flat bottom of the channel, it can be troublesome if you are not paying attention to your surroundings.”

READ MORE: Penticton Fire Department responds to third channel rescue in three days

The safety guideline is made up of five basic steps:

  1. Do not tie your floats together – “This is what causes 90 per cent of our rescue incidents. Floats get wrapped around bridge abutments, floats flip over and pins floaters against the pillar.”
  2. Wear a life jacket – “Especially non-swimmers and children.”
  3. Avoid alcohol and apply sunscreen
  4. Keep an eye out for hazards, like bridge abutments and other floaters
  5. Pay attention to the exit – “Stay right 3/4 the way down, there are signs guiding you. If you cannot make the exit, don’t panic, stay on your flotation then paddle right to the beach on Skaha Lake.”

“Follow these basic safety precautions, and your floating experience should be an outstanding summer memory,” said Watkinson.

On July 22, Penticton Fire Department was called to the channel to assist in a rescue of a woman who had gone missing after being separated from her group. The day before, the department had conducted a rescue mission after seven tourists were separated after their tubes became tangled around the abutment of a bridge.

READ MORE: ‘It’s all preventable’ says Penticton Fire Department after another channel rescue

Again, on July 20, Penticton Fire Department was tasked with dealing with two parties of people, both with tubes tied together. Five days prior, a family was rescued after flipping their tubes on the channel.

With files from Phil McLachlan

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: aaron.hemens@crestonvalleyadvance.ca


@aaron_hemens
aaron.hemens@crestonvalleyadvance.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Penticton

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COLUMN: Examining the federal speech from the throne

MP Dan Albas raises concerns about the latest throne speech from the House of Commons

Lake Country’s top paid employee retires

Deputy CAO moves up the ranks to fill the position

Morning Start: Hawaiian Pizza is Canadian

Your morning start for Monday, Sept. 28, 2020

The whole family can enjoy the Princeton wildlife scavenger hunt

The Town of Princeton is offering residents a chance to get outside,… Continue reading

Three arrested after Keremeos shooting that severely injured one man

The victim was transported by air ambulance to a regional hospital

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

B.C. marriage annulled because husband was unable to have sex with wife

Husband did not disclose any sexual health concerns to his wife prior to marriage

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

White Rock’s namesake spray-painted with Black Lives Matter slogan

Vandalism occurred sometime between Friday and Saturday

B.C. VOTES 2020: B.C. Liberals vow to eliminate sales tax for a year

From 7% to zero, then back in at 3% to stimulate economy

The holiday everyone needs this year: Vote for your favourite in Fat Bear Week 2020

Voters will get to decide who gets to take home this year’s most coveted prize

Canadian ski resorts wrestle with pandemic-vs.-profit dilemma as COVID-19 persists

Few are actually restricting the total number of skiers they allow on the hill

Victoria-area RCMP locate high-risk sex offender thanks to help of taxi cab driver

Scott Jones wanted on a Canada-wide warrant, ‘a risk to women and girls,’ police say

Most Read