Fire department says occupants of abandoned Peachland boat paddled to safety

Boat partially submerged

The occupants of a boat abandoned on the shore of Okanagan Lake in Peachland paddled themselves to safety on Monday night.

A local resident reached out to Castanet after he became concerned about the safety of the occupants of the abandoned boat near the Ray Kondola Heritage Pier.

Stuart Mennie says he noticed red and blue lights and activity along the waterfront late Monday night, and noticed the boat washed up on shore Tuesday morning.

"It's half submerged. It's got personal belongings floating around paddles and igloo coolers and life jackets and stuff," he said.

The Peachland Fire Department responded to a report of a vessel in distress Monday night at 9:30 p.m. and by the time they arrived on the scene, the occupants of the boat had managed to paddle to shore.

"We did assist all the occupants to shore, nobody was injured, just a little wet and cold. We've secured the boat in the position that it was found. We didn't want to risk causing any environmental damage in case the boat broke apart trying to get it off the rocks," said Peachland Fire Chief Dennis Craig.

The boat remains where it was left but Chief Craig says they have added sock booms around the boat to prevent any garbage, debris or leaking fluids from spreading into the lake.

"It is the owner's responsibility to work with the province to remove the vessel," Craig said

The fire department will continue to monitor the situation and the boat does not appear to be leaking any oil or other fluids at this time.

"We'll continue to support the ministry environment with any of their needs or requests," Craig added.

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