Operation Duck Drop in Penticton almost went swimmingly until it didn’t.
Two-thousand rubber ducks were dropped into the Penticton Channel, 9 a.m. Saturday morning, May 27. The tiny toys were supposed to float down the river to be caught and collected by volunteers at the end of the channel at the stairs.
But organizers didn’t anticipate how fast those ducks could travel over fast flowing water. The rubber ducks made a break for it into Skaha Lake, sending organizers scrambling to collect the yellow escape artists.
Even the Penticton Paddle Sports Club and Skaha Marina helped out, bringing out dingies, kayaks, Jet Skis and one boat to collect the escaped bath toys.
After a long day of searching, almost all 2,000 ducks have been captured but there are still some unaccounted for, said Sarah Tucker of Graphically Hip who helped organize the event.
“While we were able to collect most of the ducks that escaped the channel, there are undoubtedly a few more that snuck past despite our best efforts,” said Tucker.
If anyone finds them and returns them to Graphically Hip, there will be rewards waiting for you, she said.
The ducks will most likely be found on the beach across from the airport.
By all other accounts, Operation Duck Drop was a huge success, selling out with 2,000 ducks purchased ahead of the drop, and proceeds going to the Penticton Indian Band and South Okanagan Similkameen Brain Injury Society.
One rubber duck carried a price tag of $2 and those who purchased the three fastest ducks each won $500.
Despite the escape into the lake, organizers did find the fastest three duckies.
The winners are:
1. Lorraine Kozak
2. Rebecca McCullough
3. Blair Sutton
The coordinated drop took place on Green Mountain Road.
Rubber ducks appeared to be moving fast down the Penticton Channel, organizers said in the aftermath of the drop. They anticipated the purchased ducks to arrive at their destination at the Coyote Cruises parking lot no later than 10:20 a.m.
Operation Duck Drop continued at 2 p.m. on Saturday, in the parking lot at the end of the river channel for a BBQ put on by Life’s A Beach by donation as well as live music.