Reckless actions of personal watercraft operators reportedly put child’s life at risk

Kelowna, BC – West Kelowna RCMP have launched a criminal investigation into the alleged careless and reckless actions of as many as four individuals operating personal watercrafts on Okanagan Lake Thursday evening.

On July 6, 2017 around 6 pm, the West Kelowna RCMP responded to multiple marine incident reports, which involved a group of Sea-Doo operators, who allegedly operated their personal watercrafts in a dangerous manner on Okanagan Lake.

“The first incident is said to have occurred sometime after 4 pm, when one of the four Sea-Doo operators performed a power slide around a vessel on the lake, which not only swamped the boat, soaked the couples belongings, but more disturbingly it was reported that their 2-year-old child was knocked overboard into the waters of Okanagan Lake,” states Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey. “Thankfully the couple said their child was wearing a life jacket at the time and was surprisingly unharmed during what was likely a frightening ordeal for that toddler.”

The second report came from another vessel operator who told police that four Sea-Doo operators were ripping around on the water extremely close to his boat. Police later learned that not only was the man’s boat swamped with water, which soaked his BBQ rendering it inoperable and caused some of his personal items to be lost overboard, but his vessel was actually struck by one of the personal watercrafts. The group was reportedly last seen travelling southbound towards a sail boat south of Okanagan Lake Resort.

RCMP have reason to believe that the personal watercrafts used by the group were rental units. The investigation is underway, as efforts are made to identify the individuals associated to the rentals and gather additional evidence, including witness statements.

As such, RCMP would like to urge any other potential witnesses or victims to come forward and contact the West Kelowna Detachment at 250-768-2880. RCMP would also like to encourage the four individuals to take responsibility for their actions and come forward to police.

Police File # 2017-37524

West Kelowna RCMP

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