The sultry days of summer have finally arrived and with water levels receding well, beaches and boat launches are open.
And the sparkling waters issue a refreshing welcome on a hot day.
But those inviting waters can be potential death traps that must be treated with care and respect.
Police report the body of a young man has been pulled from the mouth of the Shuswap River. Sadly, it is believed to be that of a 24-year-old Salmon Arm man, who was swept over Seymour Falls on June 11, after jumping into the river to cool off during a hike.
This year’s run-off was particularly high, compounded by a late snow melt and heavy rains.
High water levels can hide dangerous underwater debris and equally deadly currents, even when the surface of the water seems smooth and calm.
In another potentially deadly encounter, a young Korean tourist survived a close brush with death in Shuswap Lake, thanks to the concerted efforts of a team of Sicamous beach-goers.
Unable to swim, he ventured out of his depth Aug. 1 and his non-swimming friends were not able to help him.
Pulled from the water and resuscitated before paramedics made it to the scene, the man was taken to hospital.
He will have quite a story to tell when he goes home. He is lucky to be alive to tell it. His family will not suffer the grief of losing a son in a foreign country.
It would not have been the first time families have lost loved ones to Shuswap Lake. And while this incident had a positive outcome, thankfully, it still serves as a reminder how, in our summer fun, it is wise to know your limits and what you’re getting into, and not take the power of nature for granted.