This Kids Don’t Float sign was smashed in sometime between Saturday night and Sunday morning. City of Salmon Arm workers removed the rest of the aluminum panel because of sharp edges. Bruce Weicker

Vandals target loaner life-jacket kiosk in Canoe

Kids Don’t Float PFD station in Salmon Arm smashed in sometime overnight Saturday

A success story has been tainted by vandalism.

Sometime overnight Saturday, the aluminum sign panel at the Kids Don’t Float kiosk at Canoe Beach was smashed out.

Rob Hein, manager of roads and parks for the City of Salmon Arm, received an email informing him of the vandalism early Monday morning.

“We get that kind of vandalism in all our parks on a regular basis,” he said. “This is pretty over-the-top, but vandalism in the parks is ongoing.”

Bruce Weicker, president of the Shuswap Lifeboat Society and member of the Royal Canadian Marine Search & Rescue (RCM-SAR) that has established 14 life-jacket kiosks around Shuswap and Mara lakes, expressed his concern Monday morning.

Related: No PFD, no problem

“I am very disappointed considering the popularity of the program designed for kids needing life-jackets,” he said. “This was the first one installed on Shuswap Lake thanks to a donation from the Salmar Community Association.”

He says police were very quick to respond.

“I suspect someone out there has information,” he said. “It’s the kids that have been hurt; there are only two there now.”

Weicker says that since then, many other community groups have stepped forward with donations of $2,400 for each kiosk.

“These are widely used throughout the Shuswap,” he says, offering a reminder that the life-jackets need to returned. “I think some people just take them or take newer ones and leave older ones.”

Related: Life-jacket loaning site on deck for city

While very few were taken during the first two years of the program, Weicker says some 60 have gone missing this summer.

So RCM-SAR is looking for donations of life-jackets that fit children and are in good condition.

Donations can be made to any of the 14 kiosks or by sending an email to bweicker10@gmail.com or by calling 250-833-8971.


@SalmonArm
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