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 for 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.

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

Just Posted

EDITORIAL: Managing wildfires

Wildfires have the potential to cause significant damage within our province

Peach Fest celebrates royalty with cruise

The Peach Fest Queen and Royalty made an unannounced cruise down Penticton’s Main Street

Okanagan, Creston cherry and apple farms in need of workers

The worker shortage is due to the COVID-19 restrictions on international travel

‘It’s just my job’: Off-duty Peachland paramedic saves choking girl downtown Penticton

Family vacationing in Penticton assisted by off-duty paramedic, who helps save 13-year-old

Evacuation alert for homes near Dry Lake fire rescinded

Fire status changed to Under Control, crews remain on site patrolling and extinguishing hot spots

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Number of Kelowna-linked COVID-19 cases grows to 159

Interior Health reported four new cases region-wide on Friday, 18 remain active

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Collapse of Nunavut ice shelf ‘like losing a good friend:’ glaciologist

The ice shelf on the northwestern edge of Ellesmere Island has shrunk 43 per cent

Police watchdog deems Kelowna RCMP not responsible for man’s death

The man spoke to police after a car crash before leaving on foot; he was found dead six hours later

Central Okanagan adds 3,600 jobs in July: Statistics Canada

The region’s unemployment rate decreased by 0.2 percentage points to 10 per cent in July

Most Read