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Shuswap marine rescue crew installing life-saving rings at public swim areas

Two new life ring stations were installed, with two more planned for Enderby
One of the life ring stations installed in the region by Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue Shuswap Station 106, this one at Sicamous’ Beach Park. (Contributed)

Life preservers are popping up in the Shuswap as part of an effort to improve safety at popular public swim areas.

On May 30, Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue (RCMSAR) Shuswap Station 106 announced they had installed two Life Ring Stations at Sicamous’ Beach Park.

The life rings have a rope attached to them so a person in distress can be dragged back to the safety of the beach or dock without the rescuer having to risk jumping in. RCMSAR said getting close to a panicked drowning victim can be dangerous and result in the rescuer being drowned as well.

RCMSAR said two more life ring stations will be going up in Enderby towards the end of June. The stations will be built at Tuey and Belvedere parks, along with “Kids Don’t Float” personal flotation device loaner stations.

The life ring stations cost roughly $300 each and the costs are being split between Station 106, who contribute 25 per cent, and the Boating Safety Contribution Program of Transport Canada, who contribute 75 per cent.

Station 106 volunteers, led by deputy station leader Doug Pearce, contributed all of the labour required for the project. Sicamous-based business Bayview Homes provided the volunteers with free access to their carpentry shop and equipment.

Shuswap Station 106 leader Rob Sutherland says the station is hoping the life ring stations will catch on and eventually be located all around Shuswap Lake.

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