Extra safety measures added at Penticton River Channel – Okanagan

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Extra safety measures added at Penticton River Channel - Okanagan

A couple of volunteers are spending their summer helping misguided floaters that miss the last exit when floating down the Penticton River Channel.

“People are frightened, especially the people that are not from around here, they don’t know what the water levels are like, what the current levels are like, so they don’t know how to act,” said Maximilian Burko, Good Samaritan.

The BC River Forecast Centre says that while the river is not running faster than normal right now, the precautions are a good initiative to keep people floating the channel safely.

Read more:
Penticton Fire Department issues warning as river channel heats up

“They could either come off to the right where the shallow swimming area is or if they are unlucky enough they could be shot off to the left and into the middle of the lake,” said Burko.

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The volunteers have been helping between four and five groups a day, every day, for the last two weeks, and he and a friend have been helping out staff also put in place by Coyote Cruises.

Read more:
City of Penticton urges floaters to use caution on channel due to fast flows

“We have a three-step strategy in place we are educating, mitigating, and then we have a fail-safe for our customers,” Diana Stirling of Coyote Cruises said in an interview with Global News on July 10.

“If our guests cannot safely exit the channel … we have a dedicated on-site rescue team that will be on the beachside to help any floaters that have gone through the bridge.”

Even though the team is in place to watch floaters, it’s still important that they follow the rules, not tie tubes together, stay to the right side of the channel and don’t float after consuming alcohol.


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