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Boaters making waves in recovery efforts on Okanagan Lake

Search and Rescue asking people to provide space as they work on 2 lakes today
Boaters are asked to give crews space on Okanagan Lake as the recovery of the shrimp boat continues. (Contributed)

Boaters and paddlers on Okanagan Lake are asked to give crews ample space and respect while recovery work continues.

Work is underway with the recovery of the shrimp boat that capsized July 24 with the captain in it.

Travis Van Hill went down with his ship during a storm and has not resurfaced.

Crews were finally able to begin work on retrieving the boat July 31, and family says work continues today.

“There was some progress (Monday) but further complications due to environmental concerns,” said Van Hill’s son Lucas Pool. “Hopefully within the next day or two the vessel and net/rigging will be retrieved.”

Vernon Search and Rescue (VSAR) have been assisting in keeping the work site safe for the recovery team.

But they are pleading boaters and paddlers to steer clear of the area, near Hurlburt Park.

“Boaters were coming very close and creating large wake, this not only made efforts to recover the vessel difficult but also reduced the safety of workers in and on the water,” VSAR said.

VSAR will also be on Kalamalka Lake today, where a kayaker is also presumed drowned during the same July 24 storm. The body of 26-year old Eli Buruca has not been recovered.

“Any time you see our crews or other professionals working on the lakes PLEASE GIVE US SPACE,” VSAR said. “There is plenty of space on both lakes to have safe working conditions and have fun. If you see our boats please give us a buffer of roughly 300 metres and slow down when passing.”

READ MORE: Boat recovery underway one week after Vernon man presumed drowned

READ MORE: Frustration grows as captain still missing, boat still submerged on Okanagan Lake


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Jennifer Smith

About the Author: Jennifer Smith

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