VERNON – A 21-year-old man is suffering from serious injuries after falling overboard from a boat on Okanagan Lake. Vernon RCMP say they received a call about the incident around 9 p.m. on Saturday. The man was struck by the propeller of the boat.
“The police learned that five friends were out boating on Okanagan Lake,” says Gord Molendyk, Spokesperson for Vernon/north Okanagan RCMP. “The operator of the boat made a sharp turn to retrieve a wake boarder who had just fallen while being towed.”
Molendyk says the boat turned, the victim fell off the front, went under the boat and was struck by the propeller.
“The man was quickly pulled into the boat and brought back to shore where EHS attended and transported him to Vernon Jubilee Hospital,” explains Molendyk.
The injuries the man sustained from the propeller were to his ankle, leg and lower back. Molendyk says according to the other people on the boat, the driver is from Vernon. It is unknown at this time whether alcohol played a factor in the victim losing his balance.
“The police would like to remind everyone with the start of the boating season to think about safety on the water,” says Molendyk. “Sitting on the bow of a boat that is towing a skier may not be the safest thing to be doing.”
He says while the RCMP wants everyone to enjoy themselves on the water, it’s important to keep safety top of mind and that includes wearing life jackets and the consumption of liquor while out on the water. The investigation into the cause of the fall continues.