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

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 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.

Penticton

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

Just Posted

Columbia Shuswap Regional District staff reviewed its policies around health and safety after an employee tested positive for COVID-19. (File photo)
CSRD reviews COVID-19 policy after employee tests positive

City of Salmon Arm says only one of its staff has tested positive since March

Salmon Arm Secondary student Karly Irmen collected almost 300 lbs of food for the Salvation Army Food bank and dropped it off on Tuesday, Jan. 19. (Jim Elliot-Salmon Arm Observer)
Salmon Arm Secondary student organizes 295-lb food bank donation

A large amount of clothes was also collected to support local Salvation Army

Calls for potential overdoses in B.C. spiked in 2020, especially in the Okanagan - Shuswap. Pictured above is a BCEHS re-enactment of paramedics attending an overdose. (BCHES)
Overdose calls spike in 2020 across the Okanagan – Shuswap

Stats show every major community in Okanagan - Shuswap increased in calls for potential overdoses

The BC SPCA is adapting its fundraising after cancelling events due to COVID-19 restrictions. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)
BC SPCA gets creative with fundraising as pandemic continues

The non-profit’s in-person fundraising events all had to be cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions

Vancouver Canucks’ Travis Hamonic grabs Montreal Canadiens’ Josh Anderson by the face during first period NHL action in Vancouver, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horvat scores winner as Canucks dump Habs 6-5 in shootout thriller

Vancouver and Montreal clash again Thursday night

Interior Health has declared the Cariboo Chilcotin a community cluster. (Angie Mindus photo)
Interior Health declares Cariboo Chilcotin region a COVID-19 cluster, 215 cases since Jan. 1

Most cases are related to transmission at social events and gatherings in Williams Lake

Vernon Fire Rescue Services responded to a single-vehicle rollover Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, after a vehicle came into contact with a pedestrian light pole at Kalamalka Lake Road and 14th Avenue. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Minor injuries in rollover after vehicle hits Vernon crosswalk pole

The vehicle flipped onto its side, closing Kalamalka Lake Road

Penticton city council heard from Dhorea Ramanula, of Paid Employment for People with Lived Experiences Tuesday, Jan. 19. Ramanula’s organization has operated public washrooms in Kelowna staffed by community support workers since April, she says Penticton could benefit from a similar facility. (Michael Rodriguez - Kelowna Capital News)
Penticton interested in new public washroom concept to combat vandalism

Public washrooms with on-site support staff have been operating in Kelowna since April

Canada Post had remove a lot of letter boxes around Penticton after they were vandalized. This letter box at the United Church on Main St. remains unscathed. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Street mailbox vandals strike Penticton drop boxes

Canada Post had to remove a bunch of the vandalized units

Esa Carriere, 23, was the victim of a 2018 Canada Day homicide. (File)
Youth sentenced in Kelowna Canada Day killing

Young woman pleaded guilty to lesser assault charge, sentenced to 15-month intensive support and supervision program

A rendering of UBC’s planned downtown Kelowna campus. (Contributed)
Kelowna’s new downtown campus to help alleviate UBCO’s space crunch

The sizable development is anticipated to be completed by the fall 2024 semester

Most Read