Letters to the Editor

Warning needed for Okanagan River Channel

The last week of July my family and I visited Penticton for a week. On that trip we went on the Okanagan River Channel and had a very bad and scary experience.

I have done this activity on my own in previous years and really enjoyed it; this year it was horrible. I should have known we were starting out bad when I asked if a life jacket for my oldest daughter would be a good idea and they said yes. Thank goodness I asked otherwise our trip could have turned out much worse.

The channel was very high and the current very strong, after we paid we were left to our own devices, no help or instruction on how to get on the tubes we rented or how to get in the channel. I won’t get into all that happened, other than to say it was scary for me and quite traumatic for my children, I can’t stop thinking, what if?

My main reason for writing this letter is to confirm that there is no signage about the depth and speed of the water, no warnings what so ever, again, it was me who had to ask if life-jackets were a good idea! On the beaches, you have signs every 10 feet stating drop offs and no lifeguard, while there is nothing at the river channel.

It is likely privately owned, but your city and mayor knows what a draw it is for your community and should be putting something in effect to ensure people know the risks. I had no business being on that ride with my children and I will never do it again. I watched hundreds of people over the next few days getting ready to get in the water there, countless children included and actually felt sick to my stomach, wondering if they knew the conditions and possible outcomes.

I hope that you will publish my letter and get some warnings/signage posted so people can make an informed choice before entering the channel, I certainly would not have gone if I had been told the depth and strength of the water before entering

Jilian North

Abbotsford

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