'Bozo' launches boat at closed West Kelowna boat launch - InfoNews

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'Bozo' launches boat at closed West Kelowna boat launch

Pictures captured by West Kelowna Mayor Doug Findlater show two people launching a boat and two jet skis at the closed Gellatly boat launch on Monday, May 29, 2017.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/Doug Findlater
May 30, 2017 - 6:30 PM

WEST KELOWNA - West Kelowna mayor Doug Findlater watched as two jet skis and a boat were launched into Okanagan Lake yesterday. Usually this would be welcomed on a warm, sunny evening in the Okanagan, however all boat launches in the city are closed.

“They don’t realize what people living on the lake are facing,” Findlater says. “We’re trying to discourage boating in the vicinity of waterfront neighbourhoods.”

Findlater posted a slide show to Facebook showing the incident at the Gellatly boat launch. The photos show two people remove a barricade so they can launch the watercraft.

“Bozo takes down barricades, launches two jet skis, one boat, sees me taking pictures, packs up, put up barricades, takes three trucks with loaded trailers away. The barricades are there for a few weeks to help at risk waterfront property,” Findlater's caption on the slide show says.

Findlater says although the two people only started the boat in the water and didn’t go anywhere, and drove the jet skis for a short time in the launch channel, any action in the water can be harmful for lakeside residents.

Okanagan Lake was two centimetres higher at 7 a.m. today, May 30, than it was yesterday, and 10 centimetres above historic flood levels recorded in 1948. As a result, the City of West Kelowna has closed all its boat launches and joins other municipalities in the Okanagan trying to deter people from going out on the lake at all.

“The closures are a way of sending a message to boaters that this is an extraordinary time,” Findlater says. “People’s docks have been torn up by wave action from storms or boats, so we want to do what we can to prevent that.”

He says it may be two or three weeks, or a little longer, before the water recedes.

The City has been getting calls from residents asking for more enforcement against boaters on the lake. Findlater says he is having conversations about what further enforcement action the City of West Kelowna can take.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jenna Hickman or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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