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WATCH: Diver cleans up Penticton channel, posts underwater adventure to Youtube

David Pennylegion says he cleans up river bed for the fragile salmon population

Instead of taking a relaxing float down the Penticton channel like the thousands who do every summer, David Pennylegion free dives to clean up their messes and catches the whole underwater adventure on camera.

The underwater treasure hunter has been cleaning up the Okanagan river bottom for a couple years now, finding cellphones, sunglasses, shopping carts, lots of cans and more. He posts the dives on his Youtube channel Peaks & Plunges.

Every time he finds a phone or sunglasses he tries to get it back to its rightful owner and has been quite successful. He found a blue cellphone in a waterproof case on Saturday and is hoping to find the rightful owner.

“I try and return all lost items to people because, well let’s be real - it’s sucks losing hundreds or dollars worth of possessions.”

Pennylegion has cleaned up a lot of plastic, glass, golf balls and other garbage. On Sunday he collected 35 cans and bottles, another phone and four of pairs sunglasses.

“I do this because we have one of the most important salmon runs coming up this way,” he said before his Sunday dive. The channel can hold tens of thousands of salmon a year and that means hundreds of thousands of eggs.

“But in order to lay these eggs they need to be comfortable and healthy,” said Pennylegion.

“These salmon die at the end of the year and restore nutrition into the soil here. That’s why I clean up the channel.”

PHOTOS: Hundreds of Penticton students take part in ceremonial salmon fry release

He can be seen diving today (Sunday) around noon.

Floating down the channel is one of the top things to do when in Penticton during summer.

And just in case anyone was wondering, the full 6.4 km length of the channel from Okanagan Lake to Skaha Lake is running just over 1.5 hours right now.

The water is very high for this time of year and running very fast.

In two of Pennylegion’s video he remarks that the river flow is fast making garbage recovery a bit more challenging.

Several floaters who had tied their floaties together have got into trouble at the bridge pillars at the SuperSave gas station at Green Mountain Road. A quick rescue of a family of 10 took place July 11.

READ MORE: Quick rescue of floaters

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Monique Tamminga

About the Author: Monique Tamminga

Monique brings 20 years of award-winning journalism experience to the role of editor at the Penticton Western News. Of those years, 17 were spent working as a senior reporter and acting editor with the Langley Advance Times.
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