PENSAR to the rescue

Despite not having an accurate location, Penticton Search and Rescue still managed to find and rescue an injured mountain biker Saturday.

Randy Brown, with PENSAR, said at 4 p.m., BC Ambulance requested assistance with a medical evacuation of an injured male mountain biker in the Max Lake Road area (West Bench area of Penticton).

“The male subject, who had been biking alone, had fallen from his bike and had sustained a severe head injury and had lost consciousness for some time,” said Brown. “A passing mountain biker found the injured biker and was able to call 911 but was unable to provide dispatchers with an exact location other than they were up Max Lake Road on a mountain bike trail.”

With minimum details, PENSAR responded with an air rescue and a ground team on all terrain vehicles to the area. Communication was then re-established with the initial 911 caller who was able to meet rescuers on Max Lake Road.

The injured 67-year-old man was located and transported by all terrain vehicle to a nearby ambulance and then to Penticton Regional Hospital.

Penticton & District Search and Rescue encourage users of backcountry cycling trails to download the Trailforks App which is a mobile companion to the Trailforks.com website. It allows the cycling user to download offline trail maps for use on rides, add data, have the latest trail info and assists with emergency location.


Have bathtub, will race

Rub a dub dub, those are some fast bathtubs.

More than 30 racers took part in the third annual Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race Saturday.

This is a continuing fundraising effort for the new Penticton Regional Hospital Tower Project, specifically South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation. All entry fees, admission fees and silent auction proceeds are directed to the medical foundation. Any event sponsorship funds remaining after the event will also be donated.

The races started at Powell Beach where skippers lined up at the start line before making seven rounds of the circuit course for a distance of about 20 miles.

After the final lap, skippers beached their water craft and rang the bell on the beach to complete their race.  

ITU crown first champions

The first world champions were crowned at the International Triathlon Union world championships in Penticton.

Felicity Sheedy-Ryan of Australia and France's Benoit Nicolas climbed to the top of the podium in Saturday's duathlon.

The duathlon consists of a 10 kilometre run, followed by a 40.5 kilometre bike and a five kilometre run.

"It feels awesome, said Sheedy-Ryan, who broke away from a three-woman pack and took control of the race on the bike.

"Obviously coming into this race, that was a goal of mine and I knew there were some strong girls out there today, but when I went over the course yesterday I saw how hard it was and I thought it would probably help and work to my strengths a little bit. I wasn’t relaxed until the last couple hundred metres, because anything can happen but I am absolutely happy to take home a second title.”

Sheedy-Ryan previously won the duathlon world title in 2012. Margarita Garcia Carcia Cañellas of Spain captured the silver, while reigning champion Emma Pallant of Great Britain took bronze.

In the men's race, Garcia also returned to the top of the podium, after capturing a previous world title in 2014.

Spain's Emilio Martin finished second while Mark Buckingham of Great Britain captured bronze.

Nicholas, who was assessed a 15 second penalty after the bike for not racking his bike properly, took the lead on the first lap of the final run leg.

He took the penalty after the first lap, but had built up a large enough lead that it didn't matter.

"In France, duathlon is a good sport, so I think when I am back in France, it will be fantastic," he said after the race.

Great Britain’s Cameron Richardson claimed the junior duathlon men’s world title. Delia Sclabas of Switzerland won her second straight women's title.

The ITU world championship run until Aug. 27 in Penticton.


Medics, drivers needed

Phoenix Emergency Management Inc. is in need of qualified personnel to man emergency vehicles.

“We are urgently looking for medics and drivers for this fire season,” said David Matteucci.

“The fire centres are still asking for medic teams to support the wildfire fire suppression crews. Phoenix has the medic trucks available, but a lack of people to fill them.”

Matteucci said there is a need for both medics and drivers that are available for two-week shifts - possibly one, but not preferable - to work in the Cache Creek and Williams Lake areas.

Travel costs are provided.

“These will be 12 hour shifts, paid by the hour and accommodations, meals provided by the fire camps,” said Matteucci.
Drivers must have their class 4 (2 or 1) licence and S-100, Basic Fire Suppression course.
Medics must have OFA3 and S-100, Basic Fire Suppression course.

“Phoenix can help you get the S-100, quickly, if you do not have it,” said Matteucci.
For more information, contact Matteucci at david@phoenixmedics.com, or by phone at 250-219-4912.

Today's ITU road closures

Today is the opening day of competition for the ITU Multisport Championships in Penticton.

Several duathlon events are taking place today, resulting a road closures around the Okanagan Lake waterfront.

See above for the detailed list of closures. The Penticton Farmers Market is also moving up the road, to the 500 and 600 blocks of Main Street.

The race schedule for the day is below (races start in Okanagan Lake Park)

  • 6:30 a.m. - AG Men Sprint Duathlon start
  • 7:15 a.m. - AG Women Sprint Duathlon start
  • 7:45 a.m. - Open Wave Sprint Duathlon start
  • 9:45 a.m. - Junior Men Duathlon start
  • 9:50 a.m. - Junior Women Duathlon start
  • 11:15 a.m. - Elite & U23 Women Duathlon start
  • 2:00 p.m. - Elite & U23 Men Duathlon start
  • 7 - 11 p.m. - Medal ceremony and celebration (Gyro Park)


ITU championships open

The world has come to Penticton.

The ITU Multisport World Championships opened on Friday, with opening ceremonies and a parade of nations.
More than 3,500 athletes from 50 countries will descend on on the Peach City over the next ten days.

“It’s pretty amazing, if you look behind at all these athletes,” Mayor Andrew Jakubeit said in Rotary Park prior to the start of the parade. “To put that in perspective, I think the ‘88 Olympics in Calgary had about 1,400 athletes.”

Jakubeit hopes the event reestablishes Penticton as a world class triathlon destination, and pointed to the fact that they beat out large world class cities in places such as Spain and Denmark to host the event.

“So to have it in Penticton, I think it speaks to the history of 35 years of hosting triathlon here. We are really excited to welcome all these athletes.”

The championships run until August 27. Details and race schedules can be found here.

Packinghouse set to close

It's the end of an era for B.C. Tree Fruits in Osoyoos, who will be closing its packinghouse there this fall.

Director of Sales and Marketing Lance McGinn said the 70-year-old facility is in need of just too many upgrades.

“We feel by expanding our Oliver facility, putting a new line in the facility in the next year or so, we can take the capacity out of Osoyoos and move it to Oliver,” he said.

All the jobs from the Osoyoos plant will be moved to Oliver.

McGinn acknowledges Osoyoos area growers will have to drive their fruit a bit further year.

“They are used to shipping to that facility, we recognize that, but when it comes down to it, we are trying very hard to make our growers as much money as possible,” he said. “We need to be more efficient and consolidate where we can.”

The B.C. Tree Fruits storefront in Osoyoos will also close.

McGinn said it “remains to be seen” if they will open a retail store in Oliver.

The store will be closing on Sept. 9, while the packinghouse will shut its doors in the fall after the apple harvest is complete.

“The volume that we would normally pack in Osoyoos, will be distributed throughout not only Oliver but we are also expanding in Winfield,” McGinn said, noting plans are already underway for investments in those other facilities.

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