Penticton Fire improving response time to marine rescues

The city is inviting the public to Skaha Marina at 3 p.m. on Aug. 26, as new marine rescue units are brought into service.

Penticton Fire improving response time to marine rescues

Starting today, Penticton’s Fire Department is going to have a much stronger presence on the city’s two lakes.

The city is inviting the public to Skaha Marina at 3 p.m. on Aug. 26, as new marine rescue units are brought into service.

The two $20,000 personal watercraft will be moored at Skaha Marina, shortening the fire department’s response time to emergency rescue calls on the lake. Prior to this move, the department’s inflatable rescue boat had to be transported to the lake and launched. That boat remains in service, but will now be housed at Okanagan Lake instead of the fire hall.

Earlier this summer, Fire Chief Larry Watkinson told the Western News that the speed of the new units, and their rescue boards should also help them respond quicker to people in distress on the water.

“It will certainly bring the rescue potential for Skaha up dramatically. It will be a whole different sense of security on that lake,” said Watkinson in July. The watercraft are expected to be active for the busy Challenge Penticton weekend.