When emergency officials termed the lead-up to last weekend’s non-flood the perfect storm of rain, heat, snow pack and high water levels, they weren’t wrong.
It could have been the perfect storm had the weather forecast been correct. However an impending storm missed Kelowna and we are still sitting on the precipitous of more floods.
Now there is a new perfect storm brewing and that is happening on Okanagan Lake, where rising lake levels and debris swept into the lake arrive at the same time as boating season and the May long weekend.
With plenty of sun in the forecast (it’s gotta start sometime), you just know that knuckle-head with his cigar boat is dying to get out on the lake and show everyone how fast his boat can go.
And he’s not alone. The actions of some boaters on Okanagan Lake have tarred the reputation of them all as the annual gong show that is the boating season has surely arrived.
With lake levels extremely high, the danger has increased from a normal weekend where any number of different water-craft fight for what seems like every inch of the 135 kilometre long lake.
So as the lake level rises at a time when boaters dust off their units, its a perfect time for National Safe Boating Week, which takes place May 20 to 26.
To kick off the week the Canadian Power and Sail Squadron (CPS), Okanagan Chapter is hosting a Safe Boating Week BBQ from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Kelowna Yacht Club.
The Okanagan Power and Sail Squadron can book your appointment for a courtesy check that takes from 20 to 30 minutes and involves examining the various pieces of safety equipment on board. You will also need the required documentation, such as boat license or registration, and operator’s card (PCOC) on board.
Here are some common deficiencies for boats:
• Inadequate number, size or condition of life jackets
• Boat license or registration or PCOC not on board
• Lacking various items of safety equipment
• Fire extinguishers not being a current maintenance card
• Flares past their expiry date.
National Safe Boating Awareness Week has adopted the slogan Ready, Set, Wear It to reinforce the importance of wearing a lifejacket. The key messages of Safe Boating Week are:
• Wear your Lifejacket
• Don’t Drink and Boat
• Take a Boating Skills Course
• Beware of Cold Water Risks
• Be Prepared
With our lake under stress, let’s be careful out there this weekend.