Kelowna RCMP reminding paddle boarders


2023-08-04 07:48 PDT

While conducting marine patrols on Okanagan Lake, the Kelowna Regional RCMP have noted several paddle boarders not in compliance with federal regulations.

Specifically, RCMP officers are seeing many paddlers not wearing or without a lifejacket even while far from shore or very close to the active boating lanes in the middle of the lake.

Paddle boarders travelling on the water are required to be wearing an approved lifejacket or Personal Floatation Device (PFD) or at least have either on board as per the Small Vessels Regulations under the Canada Shipping Act. Life jackets and PFD’s must be approved by the Canadian Coast Guard and clearly show their respective label.

It is recommended that paddle boarders wear their tether at all times to avoid being separated from your board. If the paddler is wearing their life jacket or PFD, they are only required to carry a sound signalling device such as a whistle. If they are not wearing their life jacket or PFD, it must be on the board along with a 15m buoyant heaving line in a throw bag and a sound signalling device. Any paddle boarders rowing after sunset, before sunrise or in periods of restricted visibility must also carry a watertight flashlight.

While conducting these checks, officers have been surprised by how many people are not only unaware of the requirements, but lack of simple safety practices. This lake has shown even in recent weeks how choppy and dangerous it can quickly become, you need to be prepared for this. A ticket for not having a lifejacket or PFD can cost the guilty party $287.50, said Cst. Mike Della-Paolera Media Relations Officer with the Kelowna RCMP. For your own safety, please wear a lifejacket when out enjoying our beautiful lake."

Released by

Cst. Mike Della-Paolera

Media Relations Officer
Kelowna RCMP
1190 Richter Street, Kelowna, BC V1Y 6V7
Office: 250-859-1470


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