Stay off this popular BC river, experts urge after a series of rescues

May 25 2023, 10:03 pm

A popular place in the province to cool off isn’t safe yet for recreational activities, and experts are urging the public to stay safe. That hasn’t stopped people from getting into the water, but they ended up needing to be rescued.

According to The Tube Shack at Lake Cowichan on Vancouver Island, it’s not safe enough yet to enjoy the famous Cowichan River float.


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The Tube Shack shared a note from Jeff Lewis with Ladysmith Search and Rescue on its social media, saying that Ladysmith SAR paddled the full length of the river and there were “significant” hazards on the water.

“The cleanest stretch of river is from the lake to Little Beach. All other sections have major wood hazards that will only get worse as the river drops and the current is forced to narrow and flow more into the wood hazards.”

“We all enjoy being on the water, but we also want everyone to stay safe,” said Lewis.

Earlier this month, the Province warned British Columbians to be “cautious as water levels stabilize” following a rapid rise in temperatures in May. Currently, there is no High Streamflow Advisory in place for the Cowichan River.

The Tube Shack said on its social media that sometime in the middle of June is a date when the river is likely to be safer, and they will begin renting out tubes once again.

Last weekend in West Vancouver, a man tragically drowned in a creek while trying to save his dog. In North Vancouver, another man was rescued from the water by the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge.

So even if you have time off and the weather’s good, experts are urging you to stay safe on the water and check the conditions before you head out.

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