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Penticton  

Kayakers aid floaters in distress on Penticton Channel

Kayakers aid river floaters

Another report of a dangerous near-miss on the Penticton Channel has come in, highlighting once again the dangerous fast flow the popular waterway is currently experiencing. 

Lori Capozzi tells Castanet she and her husband were on the channel Sunday when they noticed a large group of young men on a party float. 

One of the men lost his grip on the large floatie, and was abruptly swept downstream. 

"The current carried him away and he later told me he didn't know how to swim," Capozzi explained. "One of his buddies jumped in, but he wasn't a strong swimmer either, and they started going under. Myself and my husband took off after them in our kayaks."

The men were moving quickly, and when the Capozzis caught up, they were frantic. 

"They were both in sheer panic, wrapping their legs around the kayaks," Capozzi said. "I thought they were going to tip us and pull us in."

The pair brought the men to the banks of the channel, where Capozzi says one of them fell briefly unconscious, though he luckily continued breathing. 

She said the group had been drinking and were not wearing lifejackets. 

"If you're going to float the channel and you don't know how to swim, you should be wearing a life jacket." 

The incident follows a Penticton Fire Department rescue last week and Coyote Cruises announcing a one-week suspension of operations, citing the dangerous flow. 



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