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Two people survive frigid nighttime plunge into Skaha Lake

A paramedic helps a man to an ambulance after his vehicle plunged into Skaha Lake on Tuesday night. - Joe Fries/Western News
A paramedic helps a man to an ambulance after his vehicle plunged into Skaha Lake on Tuesday night.
— image credit: Joe Fries/Western News

Two people are in hospital after their vehicle ran out of road and plunged into frigid the waters of Skaha Lake on Wednesday night.

Penticton RCMP Cpl. Chris Richardson said a man and woman were in the vehicle heading south on Channel Parkway when it failed to stop at the intersection with Skaha Lake Road and instead carried on down a path along the spit of land that juts into the water at the mouth of the river channel.

The vehicle, which appeared to be a pickup truck or an SUV, entered the water about 100 metres from the road and then floated approximately 100 metres more before becoming coming to a rest about 10 metres from shore, he continued.

Richardson said the vehicle occupants were able to free themselves and were standing onshore when he arrived around 8:30 p.m.

“Both are safe and are being transported to hospital,” he said.

Police don’t believe drugs or alcohol were a factor.

“Just driver error,” Robinson said.

The vehicle, with its roof and tail lights still visible from shore 30 minutes after the accident, will likely stay in the lake until morning when properly equipped divers can hook it up to a tow truck, said Capt. Tom Smith of the Penticton Fire Department.

“We have dry suits but we don’t have the layers that go underneath, so we can’t really enter the water,” he said.

Had an in-water rescue been needed, it could have been done from the department’s boat, which was also called to the scene, Smith added.

 

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