Penticton Fire Department was forced to take to the water after multiple people became entangled around the pillar at the Green Mountain Road bridge over the River Channel.
The fire department received a call around 11:30 a.m. reporting a floatie had flipped.
Several large floating rafts were entangled around the central pillar of the bridge, and some had been flipped and tossed out into the water. Rescuers had to make sure there was no one trapped underneath the flipped floatie but found it difficult to lift it under the weight of the rushing water.
Members of the fire department cut the rope to free the floaties that were caught, and made sure that all those who had ended up in the water were safe.
This is not the first rescue that the fire department has had to make on the River Channel at this bridge pillar where the water is moving very fast.
Tying together your flotation devices can be hazardous and increase your risk of drowning while floating down the channel.
The high water levels and the fast-moving current can easily flip a floatie and hold it against a pillar, which can also hold people underwater.
Separate from the hazards that come with using a rope to tie together your floaties, the current can also easily carry you out of the river channel and into Skaha Lake if you are not prepared.
If you do plan to head down the full length of the channel, make sure you depart at the exit before the final bridge. A Good Samaritan may not be able to rescue you, and they could drown as well.
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