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Safety on Okanagan Lake enhanced with launch of new rescue boat

The Penticton Fire Department has two jet ski rescue craft on Skaha Lake.Their new rescue boat will look after Okanagan Lake emergencies.
June 23, 2017 - 5:30 PM

PENTICTON - Members of the Penticton Fire Department proudly demonstrated their new rescue watercraft on Okanagan Lake this afternoon.

The new rescue boat replaces an aging zodiac, providing firefighters with a bigger, faster and more sophisticated platform from which to provide rescue on Okanagan Lake.

Two jet ski rescue boats, which are permanently stationed on Skaha Lake, were also on hand this afternoon's demonstration.

Penticton fire chief Larry Watkinson says the department’s response time to incidents on Okanagan Lake can be measured in seconds now, rather than minutes. The boat will be stationed at the Okanagan Lake Marina through the summer months.

“We’ve got both lakes completely covered,” Watkinson says, adding the boat came in on budget.

The $200,000 self-bailing, double-hulled, double-jetted craft is outfitted with a 600 horsepower engine, capable of rapid acceleration to more than 60 miles per hour, in addition to having high performance stopping and turning capabilities.

The rescue craft has more room and more comfort  for patients and firefighters, and provides a safer means from which to effect a rescue than the department’s old zodiac, the fate of which the fire department has not yet decided.

The department participated in a fundraising drive earlier this year to raise the funds not covered by the City to purchase the boat.

Penticton Fire Department's new rescue boat was officially launched on Okanagan Lake this afternoon, June 23, 2017,  following a demonstration for the media on Skaha Lake.
Penticton Fire Department's new rescue boat was officially launched on Okanagan Lake this afternoon, June 23, 2017, following a demonstration for the media on Skaha Lake.

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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2017
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