With the mercury expected to remain in the high 30s this B.C. Day long weekend, the deep waters of Okanagan Lake will undoubtedly be jam-packed over the next few days.
Kelowna RCMP are well aware of that upcoming scenario, and are preparing for extra duty while also asking water lovers to watch out for their own safety.
Cst. Mike Della-Paolera of the Kelowna RCMP told Capital News that police have brought in “extra resources” to help with the expected increase of vacationers. No numbers were available as to what the expected increase in watercraft will look like.
The number of boaters will, however, most likely be higher than normal. Della-Paolera stressed the importance of making sure that there are enough life jackets on board for everyone.
“Unfortunately, many drowning instances we have seen over the years have been as a result of fatigue and being too far from shore.”
There have been several instances of drowning in Okanagan Lake in the past few months, with summer being the most common season for the tragedies.
“These are unfortunate and avoidable tragic events.”
Always make sure that your boat has all of the proper safety equipment, like sound signals, bailers, oars/paddles/anchor, flares, fire extinguishers, etc. before getting on the water.