As the heatwave drives people to the water, Enderby’s River Ambassadors are reminding the public that kids don’t float.
The Shuswap River safety group is seeing more floaters out, even though water levels have not yet reached the low water mark.
“There are no sandbars out and you will not be able to touch bottom in most places,” the Ambassadors’ Friday update reads. “The water temperature is warming up but is still very murky with many sweepers.”
Therefore the message to stay safe, particularly for children, is being splashed around.
Kids Don’t Float kiosks, at the hand launch in Belvidere Park and at Tuey Park, are now stocked with child life jackets for free to borrow. The loaner life jackets need to be left at the kiosk when you are done with them.
Tuey Park and the boat launch have reopened following a lengthy closure due to high water.
“While there is still not too much beach at Tuey Park, people are keen to enjoy the heat,” said Tate Bengston, Enderby’s chief administrative officer. “I guess they are alternating applications of mosquito repellent and sunscreen!”
The city has seen a huge uptick in swimming lessons, aquafit and other recreational programs, along with visits to some other cool spots.
“Our pool and spray park have been extremely busy with all of the heat and the higher-than-normal river levels driving people towards those amenities,” Bengston said.
“After two years of the pandemic, people are hungry to return to normal activities, and we’re very happy to be able to offer opportunities for exactly that!”
The Shuswap River water level still above normal and is “use at your own risk and discretion,” according to the Ambassadors, who offer the following safety reminders:
– Inflatables are considered human powered vessels, and you must have a life jacket/PFD and whistle
– Conservation officers are on the water issuing tickets
– Only use designated launch sites, please stay off private property both to access the river and while on the water
– There is limited parking at most launch sites, vehicles parked outside the designated areas will be towed at owner expense
– There is no rental service for life jacket or vessels and no bus, shuttle, or taxi service
– Pack out what you pack in
– The Shuswap River is not a channel or canal
– This is not an organized activity
– Know where to get off the water, if you miss your exit you will be stuck on the river for many hours until the next exit point
– The mosquitoes are very bad
– Tuey/Waterwheel beach gate closes at 9 p.m. and there is no overnight camping
– Check weather conditions, wind will drastically alter float times
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Heat waveNorth Okanagan Regional DistrictOutdoors and Recreation