Boating and Water Safety

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Now that the weather has warmed up, it’s time to talk boating and water safety.

Penticton Fire Chief Larry Watkinson says it’s important to be mindful of your situational awareness when out on the lake.

“Makes sure that if you’re pulling a skier or a tuber or anything like that, that you have a spotter looking around you so that you’re not going to cross into another boat’s path or an unexpected wave that could blow off your skiers etc. It’s a very busy lake and we have a very active community in the lake and we are here to respond to emergencies but if we can help prevent them, even better,” said Watkinson.

If you’re going to head out on a water craft that is not powered, Watkinson says be sure to tell someone on shore where you’re going and coming back.

The Penticton river channel is officially open but the water level is still very high.

What does that mean for floaters?

Watkinson says wear a lifejacket if you can’t swim, buckle children in and most importantly do not tie your rafts together.

“If you get caught up around one of the bridge way abutments or a snag in the water, like a branch from the side, you can get pulled under pretty quickly with the amount of water that’s coming through there. It’s a massive amount of water and it’s a huge body and extremely powerful,” adding the current is strong and could pull you under if you’re not careful.

Watkinson is also reminding floaters to get off at the beach and not to continue into the lake.

He says there are strong currents below the water’s surface and you could be pulled under.