Penticton firefighters called to rescue channel floaters at Green Mountain Road bridge... again

Penticton firefighters were called to another channel floater caught on the Green Mountain Road bridge pier this afternoon, July 24, 2017.

PENTICTON - Penticton Fire Department responded to another channel rescue today.

Fire Chief Larry Watkinson says the fire department responded to a call of channel floaters caught on the Green Mountain Road bridge pier this afternoon, around 4 p.m.

Skaha Lake marine rescue craft were also dispatched to the scene, where firefighters were able to free the watercraft and rescue a single person, just prior to arrival of the department’s marine unit.

Captain Wayne MacKenzie says two rafts were tied together and became hung up on both sides of the bridge pier. A man was spotted clinging to the watercraft on the west side of the pier, and two firefighters were able to swim to the pier and cut the rope between the two rafts.

MacKenzie said the Calgary native was in good shape and did not require medical attention. His wife and daughter, also on the rafts, were able to make it to the river bank on their own.

MacKenzie says he doesn't believe the river channel has slowed much as officials continue to let water out of Okanagan Lake in a bid to reduce water levels to full pool.

"The channel hasn't really changed, even though lake levels are dropping," he says.

The incident was the same location where a 21-year-old visitor to Penticton drowned on June 28, after getting caught on the bridge pier while tied to his boat.

Another incident occurred last week on the Eckhardt Avenue bridge. Firefighters had to rescue a woman who also got entangled on a bridge pier.

Firefighters have repeatedly tried to warn users not to tie floaties together.

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