Imagine you and a group of friends are out for a bike ride on a hot, sunny Okanagan day. Let’s say there are five adults and two children. You are all going at a relaxing pace.
Then you meet up with another group of cyclists who are all enjoying the casual ride down a sleepy residential street. You are admiring the beautiful gardens that homeowners lovingly tend. Now, let’s say three sports cars come racing up the street at a very high rate of speed towards you, not caring if you are in their way. Would you be a little angry or upset? Would you ask the police to track down these idiots and charge them?
Now translate this scene to what happened to me and my group of friends, who were floating the Shuswap River upstream from Enderby one Sunday this summer.
We were, along with probably 200 other rafters and floaters, put at great harm and risk due to the blatant ignorance and the who gives a damn attitude by not one, but nine separate boaters who put a lot of people in danger of being severely injured or even killed. How you ask? The boaters weaving through the throngs of rafts, tubes, and floating devices of all types jeopardized the safety of all by racing on the river. People were swimming beside their floats of choice, children jumping out of the rafts, enjoying the hot sunny da,y only to be put at risk of severe injury by the ignorance of these boaters.
Now I am not saying that we rafters own the waters at all. Nor do the boaters.
What I am saying is that these “sportsmen” operate their boats with a wee bit of common sense and more importantly, respect for others, which these boaters certainly displayed they have none.
I counted 12 boats that day, and only three slowed down when encountering our group of rafters. To these boaters, I say thank you very much for being respectful of others sharing the water, enjoying the glories that the area provides for us.
To the boaters who think that they have the God-given right that they own the river, I say shame on you.
No wonder there is a call to ban powerboats on the river.
It is because of the ignorant few that it will ruin it all for the law abiding and safety conscious rest.
Shame on you, shame.