Stranded boaters rescued from lake

The volunteer Vernon Search and Rescue unit received a call at about 2 a.m.

Vernon Search and Rescue members jumped into action after receiving reports of three people stranded on Okanagan Lake.

The volunteer unit received a call at about 2 a.m. Tuesday that a boat was adrift on the lake near Ellison Point. Two boats were sent to the scene.

“The team took off the three people and brought their boat in,” said Pete Wise, unit search manager.

It’s not known  how long the three people were out on Okanagan Lake  after their boat ran out of fuel.

“With no power and no running lights operational, they became a navigational hazard,” said Wise.

Apparently, one of the individuals used a cell phone to call for help.

But there was initially a reluctance to seek assistance because they were concerned they would have to pay a fee for the emergency response.

“Search and rescue doesn’t charge. We are out there to save lives,” said Wise.

Wise says this incident is a good example of why people should check their fuel levels before heading out on to the water and being familiar with how much gas their boat burns.

According to the Vernon RCMP detachment, the boat was not equipped with oars or paddles, and that is an offence.

A fine could be levied for the infraction.