The Okanagan's last lifeguarded beach will see some significant changes this year | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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The Okanagan's last lifeguarded beach will see some significant changes this year

Savannah Bourree watches over swimmers at Peachland's Swim Bay.
June 10, 2020 - 7:00 PM

Activities at the Okanagan’s only lifeguarded beach are going to be curtailed this summer.

COVID-19 has thrown a wrench into a lot of plans and not even a day at Peachland’s Swim Bay will be spared in the months ahead.

According to a report from Peachland staff, headed to town council tonight, June 9, the number of people allowed into the popular swim area will be controlled.

While the float docks and high dive will remain open, the low dive board will be closed to allow lifeguard staff to position themselves away from the public and the zipline and rope swing will be closed because they cannot be effectively cleaned nor disinfected.

“Lifeguard service restricted to the zone between the yacht club and the dive tower,” reads the report. “Swimming lessons only for Swimkids levels 4-10 (ages 6 years and over) as younger children require hands-on assistance when learning.”

READ MORE: Why parents prefer Peachland's Swim Bay.

Lifeguards will be trained on COVID-19 first aid and rescue modifications and there will be enhanced Personal Protective Equipment.

The start of the beach season at Swim Bay will be a little later than usual, with June 30 set as the opening date.

Peachland has 10 lifeguards that rotate through the site throughout the summer.

“A lot of people don’t even know that we have lifejackets, so if we see someone who’s not a strong swimmer, we’ll go out and hand them one,” lifeguard Zach Da Silva said in an interview last summer.

For him, though, the real benefit of the lifeguard service is simply the sense of community he sees being built.

“We’re a focal point,” Da Silva said. “People come by and ask ‘where’s the best dinner spot?’ ‘Where can I get a good cup of coffee?’”

The season for lifeguard duty ends Aug. 25.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Kathy Michaels or call 250-718-0428 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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News from © iNFOnews, 2020

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