Swimmer safety, high costs kill proposed dock - InfoNews

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Swimmer safety, high costs kill proposed dock

Penticton's waterfront advisory committee killed the notion of building a dock and day moorage area near the SS Sicamous due to high costs and preventing accidents.
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October 16, 2013 - 9:01 AM

PENTICTON -  There'll be no new dock for the Okanagan Lake shoreline because of possible dangers boats can pose to swimmers.

The city's waterfront enhancement committee killed the suggestion of a new dock and day-moorage area built near the SS Sicamous. The idea was forwarded to the committee through public input sessions held earlier this year.

Committee chair Rod King said all manner of ideas came in on what to do with the famous beach area and a new dock and moorage station near the stationary paddle boat and museum was one of them.

King said the idea was nixed at a committee meeting yesterday over safety concerns and high costs of constructing a breakwater. Advice from marina operators suggested the city would have to consider the strong winds and currents flowing into the Okanagan River.

The city would also have to complete environmental impact studies and keep boats away from the beach which sees heavy traffic during the summer from regular swimmers as well as triathletes.

"Boats and people obviously don't mix," he said. "Safety is our utmost concern."

A portion of Skaha Beach allows boats to pull up onto the sand, and boat passengers and other visitors will swim in the water alongside vessels, but the numbers are few compared to Lakeshore Drive.

King would rather see increased numbers of people using the Lakeshore Drive beach rather than a new dock for boaters. While he doesn't want to turn the beach into an amusement park he would love to see more attractions for children and families.

To contact a reporter for this story, to send photos or videos, email Shannon Quesnel at squesnel@infotelnews.ca, call 250-488-3065, tweet @shannonquesnel1 or @InfoNewsPentict

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