Have fun and stay safe: Don't tie your tubes
With a beautiful long weekend ahead, many Cowichan Valley residents will likely find themselves tubing down the Cowichan River at some point.
There have been several tubing accidents in B.C. in the past week, including a young girl who was rescued from a fast-moving stream near Campbell River Thursday afternoon and an elderly couple in Christina Lake near Grand Forks who died last weekend.
Cowichan Search and Rescue officials are offering up some safety tips so the same doesn’t happen here.
Shawneen Nichols, the team leader with Cowichan's Swift Water Rescue, said people should wear shoes or sneakers, not flip flops, because there are sections of the river too difficult to navigate by tube.
“There are areas where even myself, as the swift water on the river, have pulled out and walked around and the tubers have to realize they’re going to get pushed into those hazards.”
Even if others are doing it, she said it’s a bad idea to tie yourself to anything, especially coolers.
“Because the coolers are heavier, so they will dip farther below the water. There could a root an underhanging in the water. The cooler gets caught on that and it starts dragging them down in that current.”
Nichols said there are a couple of risky areas along the Cowichan River people often get caught up in. One is Marie Canyon near Skutz Falls. She said the water level is low right now and places like Paradise Pools are shallow and dangerous to jump into.
Cowichan Swift Water Rescue has responded to seven calls for help in the past month.
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