Lake Country club encourages paddlers to enjoy the water during COVID-19

The club has opened a little earlier this year to provide outlet for those isolating

The Lake Country Sail and Paddle Club are opening early for the 2020 season for those who are looking for an eco-friendly activity that can also help them feel calm.

Site coordinator Pippa Dean-Veerman said as things continue to be chaotic because of the COVID-19 pandemic, they encourage people to enjoy the calm outdoors.

She said paddling can be done alone or in a pair. It is a safe activity and can be meditative during this time.

“We’re caring for our souls. We’re going into the water and having respite from the craziness of our world. And some of us want the solitude, some of us want to have someone kayak with us. It depends on what you need at the time,” she said.

She said there are safety measures in place including providing disinfecting alcohol and paper towels so members can wipe down their equipment along with other things they’ve touched. As well hand sanitizer is provided and signage is displayed asking people to maintain physical distance when in the area.

Dean-Veerman said they are not yet limiting the number of people coming out to paddle.

“At this point in the year, we don’t really need to yet… but once we see more people coming than is safe, then we’ll set a policy to give people times to come and paddle,” she said.

Kevin Bowles, the commodore of the sail and paddle club, said some members have already started coming to the lakefront to paddle in the last few days. He and Dean-Veerman are reminding people to keep boat and water safety at the top of their minds when going out to the lake.

“I’d hate to think that someone, in their attempt to run away from the craziness of COVID-19, that they would put themselves at risk in the water,” Dean-Veerman said.

“Right now, the lake is not much above freezing, so it’s very cold. If you fall in, you’ve only got minutes before you can’t use your arms anymore. So if you’re out paddling, make sure you’re in shallow enough water that you can walk out of the lake quickly. Don’t go too far out,” Bowles said.

“If you fall – and even if someone sees you – they might not get to you in time to save you.”

Bowles added those going to paddle should wear a life jacket, carry a pump so they can get water out of their kayak and a safety kit that includes a whistle, flashlight and a heaving line.

He also asked that those going out to paddle to clean their boats thoroughly, especially if coming from out of the province, drain all the water and dry them to prevent invasive mussels from getting into the lake.

READ: Lake Country fire crews knock down Carr’s Landing blaze

READ: Condo’s roof collapses at Big White Ski Resort


Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at twila.amato@blackpress.ca
Follow me on Twitter

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Family key to 60 years of marriage for Vernon couple

Syd and Emily Smith were married July 16, 1960, at the young ages of 18 and 19

AlleyCATS Okanagan: Pet of the week

Add a little Spritz and Cider to your summer

Lake Country beachgoers reminded to maintain distance amid COVID-19

Signage, park rangers, park patrol students in place to monitor busy beaches in Central Okanagan

Rare comet NEOWISE and aurora lights captured in Okanagan

The image was captured over Big Horn Lake near Kelowna with a Pixel 4XL android phone

Vernon Search and Rescue aids injured rail trail cyclist

Group’s Utility Terrain Vehicle proving to be a valuable asset on the popular trail

Recent surge in COVID-19 cases not unexpected amid Phase Three of reopening: B.C.’s top doc

Keep circles small, wear masks and be aware of symptoms, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

‘Resistance’ from Interior Health puts races in Penticton on hold

It’s unknown if races planned for this weekend at the Penticton Speedway will take place

Fundraiser kick-started for Vernon woman battling tongue cancer

Woman’s four-year-old twins are the driving force behind her fight

B.C. NDP changing WorkSafeBC regulations to respond to COVID-19

Employers say reclassifying coronavirus could be ‘ruinous’

Oliver Town Hall reopens to public as COVID-19 test comes back negative

Town Hall was closed briefly as a staff member showed multiple COVID-19 symptoms

RCMP to investigate hate-motivated vandalism in Summerland

Swastikas and other graffiti spray painted on house and at bandshell

Statistical flaws led to B.C. wolf cull which didn’t save endangered caribou as estimated

Study finds statistical flaws in an influential 2019 report supporting a wolf cull

Baby raccoon rescued from 10-foot deep drainage pipe on Vancouver Island

‘Its cries were loud, pitiful and heartbreaking,’ Saanich animal control officer says

Vancouver Island RCMP respond to reports of man masturbating on bus

52-year-old man charged with committing an indecent act in a public place

Most Read