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Drowning in Penticton Channel

Drowning in Penticton Channel

Postby TylerM4 » Jun 28th, 2017, 5:02 pm

https://www.castanet.net/edition/news-s ... htm#200623

Horrible. Only 20yo. My condolences to friends and family. :cry:

Sounds like this was another case of "tube tied to arm/leg" which led to the drowning. There was a similar story 2 or 3 years ago with a young women drowning while tubing the river in Enderby. Please pass the word - better to have your tube/floatie get away from you than to have it drown you.
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Re: Drowning in Penticton Channel

Postby GordonH » Jun 28th, 2017, 5:31 pm

Sad story, my condolences to the Family and Friends.

Was suppose to be a fun day floating down the channel, that can change in a split second.
Please don't tie yourself to the floatie.
If you have issues with your ability to swim then check out some of latest personal floatation devices/life jackets.

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Re: Drowning in Penticton Channel

Postby JBX » Jul 7th, 2017, 9:57 pm

That channel is freaking scary. I'm a big guy, 6'7 ish, I went down the channel last year and I could JUST BARLEY touch the bottom in the area I tried. I'm not the greatest swimmer but I thought if I could touch bottom id be fine, NOPE, the current was so powerful it was dragging me like I didn't exist.

I shudder to think how fast it could drown you if you tie yourself to something it has a hold of. I remember we went under the bridge(I know dumb) and I was looking down at that churning water thinking yep, if I fall in its all over, no way I'm surviving this.

Freaky stuff, horrible for this poor guy.
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Re: Drowning in Penticton Channel

Postby Tony » Jul 8th, 2017, 4:45 am

If you're going down the channel and can't swim at all, then you should be wearing a PFD. Having it sitting beside you won't save you. Right now the undertow on the channel is exceptionally strong, and it'd deep everywhere.
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Re: Drowning in Penticton Channel

Postby Osoyoos_Familyof4 » Jul 8th, 2017, 11:01 am

Okay, I've lived here for many years, and I can't believe I'm going to admit this!

I have never done the channel float.

I was thinking this might be the year now that our children are a little older. But I have 2 very small stature girls (real shorties).

Is it dangerous with or without a life jacket? Both are decent enough swimmers, but I would make them wear a PFD. But can they get swept away from you easy? Because I am not looking for trauma or drama. Is this year somehow more dangerous than other years?
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Re: Drowning in Penticton Channel

Postby GordonH » Jul 8th, 2017, 11:21 am

Osoyoos_Familyof4 wrote:Okay, I've lived here for many years, and I can't believe I'm going to admit this!

I have never done the channel float.

I was thinking this might be the year now that our children are a little older. But I have 2 very small stature girls (real shorties).

Is it dangerous with or without a life jacket? Both are decent enough swimmers, but I would make them wear a PFD. But can they get swept away from you easy? Because I am not looking for trauma or drama. Is this year somehow more dangerous than other years?


I suspect due to Okanagan Lake levels, the dam control is close to max so current in channel would be strong. That would mean any under tow would be just that much stronger as well.
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Re: Drowning in Penticton Channel

Postby JagXKR » Jul 8th, 2017, 12:11 pm

Osoyoos_Familyof4 wrote:Okay, I've lived here for many years, and I can't believe I'm going to admit this!

I have never done the channel float.

I was thinking this might be the year now that our children are a little older. But I have 2 very small stature girls (real shorties).

Is it dangerous with or without a life jacket? Both are decent enough swimmers, but I would make them wear a PFD. But can they get swept away from you easy? Because I am not looking for trauma or drama. Is this year somehow more dangerous than other years?


An Olympic sized pool has 2500 cubic meters of water. The average flow from the dam is about 78 cubic meters per second right now. So every 1 minute just under 2 swimming pools of water flow past any given spot.
I would not go on it with young children right now but I am a poor swimmer and would not be able to render assistance if needed. It was moving really fast when I looked at it a few days back.

https://wateroffice.ec.gc.ca/report/rea ... tn=08NM050
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Re: Drowning in Penticton Channel

Postby ToddT » Jul 10th, 2017, 9:52 am

I won't be going in the channel this summer. Neither will my kids. Not only is it too full and strong but the water looks gross too.

There has been years when you can walk down almost the whole way, other years it's deep. This year is the highest and fastest I have ever seen it and until the lake is back at regular pool levels it won't be changing.

Just yesterday I saw kids jumping off the last bridge into the most dangerous spot. I've seen countless floaties tied together, every day.

People just don't care. They think it just won't happen to them. Sadly, it does. You can't fix stupid.

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Re: Drowning in Penticton Channel

Postby JBX » Jul 11th, 2017, 10:08 am

ToddT wrote:I won't be going in the channel this summer. Neither will my kids. Not only is it too full and strong but the water looks gross too.

There has been years when you can walk down almost the whole way, other years it's deep. This year is the highest and fastest I have ever seen it and until the lake is back at regular pool levels it won't be changing.

Just yesterday I saw kids jumping off the last bridge into the most dangerous spot. I've seen countless floaties tied together, every day.

People just don't care. They think it just won't happen to them. Sadly, it does. You can't fix stupid.


Yup, I get stressed out just looking at the channel, it just screams death this year.
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Re: Drowning in Penticton Channel

Postby Soatome » Jul 24th, 2017, 4:35 pm

Yet again another pair of people got themselves tangled on the channel today. Maybe a fine or rescue charge if the rafts are tied together is needed. If there was a monetary cost, besides losing their floaties, people might think twice about it.

https://www.castanet.net/edition/news-s ... htm#202599

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Re: Drowning in Penticton Channel

Postby seewood » Jul 24th, 2017, 5:19 pm

Wear a PFD and if you go in, get orientated so you are on your back and go down feet first...
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Re: Drowning in Penticton Channel

Postby JBX » Jul 24th, 2017, 5:30 pm

seewood wrote:Wear a PFD and if you go in, get orientated so you are on your back and go down feet first...


Would a PFD be enough to save you from the drowning machine effect? I'm sure as heck not going to test it myself just wondering.
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Re: Drowning in Penticton Channel

Postby pentona » Jul 24th, 2017, 5:38 pm

seewood wrote:Wear a PFD and if you go in, get orientated so you are on your back and go down feet first...


Kind of odd...the laws. Says you have to at least HAVE a PFD in your boat (even a dingy/rubber raft) while on the lakes but with that same boat, you do not, while on the fast flowing river channel? Of course the main problem here appears to be the boneheads who tied them together on the channel.
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Re: Drowning in Penticton Channel

Postby seewood » Jul 24th, 2017, 8:01 pm

GordonH wrote:I suspect due to Okanagan Lake levels, the dam control is close to max so current in channel would be strong. That would mean any under tow would be just that much stronger as well.


I suspect you suspect correctly.... The lake level is still high for this time of year so me thinks the dam is still open more than usual and flows are still pretty high.
The water speed is fastest below the surface. The bottom acts as a friction surface so water speed is slow there and as one moves up the water column the water speed increases until the surface where the air acts as a friction source and slows a bit.
Surface may be clipping along, but it is moving faster below the surface...careful eh.
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Re: Drowning in Penticton Channel

Postby TylerM4 » Jul 25th, 2017, 7:49 am

Their boats got hung up - no big deal. The only reason they needed to be rescued is because they didn't want to leave their boats behind and/or get wet. The "rescue" consisted of the FD showing up with a pair of scissors to cut the rope.

The danger is when you tie the boat to yourself.
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