Close call on Okanagan River channel in Penticton
Penticton firefighters rescued a woman from the Penticton river channel this afternoon, July 17, 2017, after her raft and her husband's raft became pinned against the Eckhardt Avenue bridge pier by channel waters that continue to run strong and fast.
(STEVE ARSTAD / iNFOnews.ca)
July 17, 2017 - 4:47 PM
PENTICTON - Penticton firefighters helped avert a potential tragedy on the Okangan River channel this afternoon.
Deputy fire chief Chris Forster says firefighters were called to the Eckhardt Avenue bridge around 3:45 p.m. today, July 17, after a woman found herself in trouble while tubing the channel.
She and her husband’s rafts were tied together when the rafts hit the Eckhardt bridge pier, causing one raft to go on one side of the pier and the other raft on the opposite side.
The rafts were pinned there by channel currents that continue to flow fast and high.
“The husband jumped off his raft, thinking that would dislodge his wife’s but that didn’t happen,” Forster says.
Firefighters were able to rescue the woman by pulling the empty tube around the pier, which freed the woman’s raft, allowing firefighters to get her safely to the riverbank.
“She did the right thing, by staying put and shouting for help,” Forster says, adding the woman couldn’t swim, but was wearing a life jacket, another smart move.
He says current in the channel is still significant and urges tubers not to tie their watercraft together.
“If you get caught up on those bridge piers, you’re not getting out of it,” he says.
A 21-year-old man visiting the area was drowned at the Green Mountain Road bridge on June 28.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2017