Penticton boater thanks good samaritans who came to his rescue | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Penticton boater thanks good samaritans who came to his rescue

A Penticton boater found himself stranded near remote Rattlesnake Island in Okanagan Lake last week but found help from another passing boater.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / Wikimedia Commons
July 17, 2020 - 6:00 AM

A pleasant outing on Okanagan Lake for a Penticton couple could have ended with an onerous paddle back to shore if not for a good samaritan boater last week.

Brian Gray says he doesn’t get out on Okanagan Lake very often with his 19-foot, Four Winns runabout, but he managed to make it out one day last week with his wife and dog.

He pulled up to an inlet near Rattlesnake Island, located about three kilometres east of Peachland in an area of uninhabited Okanagan Lake shoreline.

He closed in on shore and started lifting the leg on the motor to get the shaft out of the water when the electric control switch malfunctioned.

“It kept trying to go into the up position until I finally blew a fuse. I figured out what happened, cut the wires and bypassed the switch,” he says.

But by then, the boat’s battery was dead and he couldn’t start the boat.

Gray was able to paddle the boat away from shore where he eventually spotted a pontoon boat further out on Okanagan Lake.

“I had an air blaster in the boat and between blasts I waved a paddle in the air until I got their attention,” he says.

Fortunately, Gray had booster cables. The pontoon boaters provided a boost and offered water and other essentials to Gray.

“We had everything we needed, including safety equipment, on board, so they wished us a good day and went on their way. We were a long way up the lake and a ways from civilization. It would have been a long paddle back without their help,” he says.

Gray posted an account of the day on social media, thanking those who helped, adding “just goes to show that there are good people willing to help a stranger, asking for nothing in return.”

He says the post received many positive comments except for one, who Gray says rudely criticized the boat’s seaworthiness.

“You can take it to the shop to have it serviced every day and something could still happen. The switch that failed was a completely sealed unit. There’s no service work that could be done on it, and it either works or it doesn’t, and when it doesn’t work you can’t fix it,” he says.

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