Penticton channel tubing operator delays opening after drowning | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Penticton channel tubing operator delays opening after drowning

FILE PHOTO - Channel tubing operator Coyote Cruises has announced they are delaying start up of this year's operations due to safety concerns related to high water in the Okanagan River channel.
June 30, 2017 - 10:59 AM

PENTICTON - A Penticton company normally fully operational at this time of year is delaying their start up due to safety concerns.

Penticton Indian Band Communications Coordinator Dawn Russell said in a joint release between the City of Penticton and the band, issued today, June 30, Coyote Cruises would be postponing the opening of their channel tubing service due to high and swift water in the Okanagan River channel.

The news comes following the drowning of a 21 year old man who became entangled in ropes after his floatation device hit a bridge pier in the channel earlier this week.

CIting personal safety as a priority, the band, the city and Coyote Cruises are working together to make residents and visitors to the area aware of the added risks of tubing in the channel at this time.

With additional flows coming into the channel from Okanagan Lake, new undercurrents in the channel may be present. People are advised to use extreme caution when using the channel, and should take extra safety measures by wearing a lifejacket or floatation device, to avoid tying floatation devices together or to oneself, and not to float alone.

Floaters are also advised to be sure their floatation device is always within reach.  When approaching bridges, stay clear of bridge pilings and do not float past the Highway 97 bridge at the channel’s outlet to Skaha Lake.

Floaters are best advised to disembark at the channel mid-point.

Floaters should also note alcohol consumption is prohibited in the channel.

Residents and visitors should note Penticton’s beaches are still open and the city has numerous events taking place this weekend for those looking for alternatives to using the channel this weekend.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad or call 250-488-3065 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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