(Penticton Fire Department - Twitter)

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

Multiple groups of individuals floating channel with tubes tied together prompts safety message

The continuous need for marine rescues on the Penticton Channel is preventable, says the Penticton Fire Department following yet another rescue today.

At approximately 1:30 p.m. the Penticton Fire Department was called out to rescue a group of individuals whose tubes had become wrapped around the abutment of a bridge.

READ MORE: Family rescued after flipping tube on Penticton channel

Crews rushed to the scene and prepared to get in the water. The two tubes that were tied together had two people on one, and one person on the other. One of the individuals could not swim and did not have a life jacket.

While the other two individuals swam away, the individual who didn’t know how to swim held on to the tube, was in a panicked state and had to be rescued.

“When you get to an abutment, it’s very easy for one (tube) to go on one side, and one on the other, and so that’s the situation that occurred here,” said Penticton Fire Department deputy chief, Chris Forster.

In the meantime, while rescue crews were getting into the water, another group of floaters were approaching the area, also with their tubes tied together. This group abandoned their tubes, which also became tangled around the abutment.

“It all worked out real well, but once again we can’t emphasize enough that, even as a strong swimmer you should have a life jacket, but at a minimum if you can’t swim, you should have a life jacket on.

“That is just absolutely a necessity.”

Forester said even if you’re with someone who knows how to swim, you shouldn’t rely on this and should wear a flotation device.

“These waters are flowing fast and it’s very difficult for people to get to you… it only takes seconds. We just can’t stress that enough,” said Forster.

“Accidents are preventable. This channel is fun, it is great fun for everybody and families, but it’s all preventable. We don’t need to tie the tubes, and we need to wear our life jackets.”

This, Forster said, is a very basic concept.

“Yes, it’s nice to lay in the sun, but realistically your safety is more important than anything,” he said.

READ MORE: Four people rescued after floating past Penticton’s Skaha Bridge

@PentictonNews
editor@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Search and Rescue

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

Just Posted

Sternwheelers once plied Okanagan Lake

Vessels once transported passengers and goods along the Okanagan Valley

Glenview Park’s fate may go to referendum

There is no decision yet on a controversial proposal to remove Glenview… Continue reading

QUIZ: How much do you know about British Columbia?

On this B.C. Day long weekend, put your knowledge of our province to the test

New ICBC data shows number of collisions in South Okanagan, Similkameen, by city and street

Penticton, Oliver, Summerland top charts for most vehicle crashes in 2019

VIDEO: Otter pups learn to swim at B.C. wildlife rescue facility

Watch Critter Care’s Nathan Wagstaffe help seven young otters go for their first dip

Reported Big White wildfire dubbed ‘smoke chase’

Crews responded to the area but could not locate a fire

Alleged impaired driver sparks small wildfire near Lytton after crash: B.C. RCMP

Good Samaritans prevented the blaze from getting out of control

Wildfire in West Kelowna’s Rose Valley grows to 3 hectares

The fire was first reported at around 2:30 p.m. on Aug. 2.

Travel restrictions inspiring co-operation in border communities

Small border towns are asking for exemption to travel ban

Man found dead in van on Okanagan road

Foul play not suspected in death of 39-year-old West Kelowna man found in Vernon Saturday, Aug. 1

B.C. First Nation adopts ‘digital twinning’ software to better manage territory

Software allows users to visualize what a mountain might look like if the trees on its slopes were logged

Fires ignite on Revelstoke’s Mt. Begbie; Kamloops Fire Centre blazes holding

Crews working throughout region over holiday weekend to contain wildfires

Most Read