During the recent heat dome, I visited Summerland for a week. Each evening, we, along with many residents and visitors, swam at Rotary Beach in order to cool down. The beach was packed till it was dark.
There were so many people of all swimming abilities in the water that I was hoping that there would not be an accidental drowning. I quickly realized that there was no livesaving equipment available to help rescue a swimmer in trouble.
In May of this year, the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue Shuswap Station 106 installed two life ring stations at Sicamous Beach Park and announced that they would install two more stations at other local beaches. In addition, the group installed children’s personal flotation device loaner stations at these parks. The cost of the life ring stations is minimal, just $300 per station.
I would like to urge Summerland council to install such equipment at Rotary, Peach Orchard and Powell Beaches.
Funding is available through the Boating Safety Contribution Program of Transport Canada for up to 75 per cent of the cost of the equipment.
Perhaps a local service club or Penticton and District Search and Rescue would be willing to be a partner in this endeavor. Let’s not allow another year to pass before improving the safety of our beaches.