British Columbia

Man drowns in tubing accident in Penticton Channel

The 20-year-old victim and three friends were floating down the Penticton Channel on inflatable tubes when the group got stuck at a bridge, according to police.

Victim's friends swam to safety after inflatable tubes hit bridge abutment

RCMP say the man drowned because he was unable to free himself from the ropes that tied his and his friends rafts together. (BluIz60/Shutterstock)

A 20-year-old man has drowned following a tubing accident in the Penticton channel on Wednesday afternoon.

According to RCMP, four men were floating down the river on the inflatable tubes, which they had tied together, yesterday afternoon. 

They hit an abutment on the bridge and were ejected from their tubes, sending them into the water.

"Three males made it safely to shore, and the fourth male was tied up in ropes that were tying the rafts together. This male was unable to keep himself above water," explained RCMP Cpl. Don Wrigglesworth.

Emergency responders received a call at 3:30 p.m. PT to rescue him.

Once he was brought on shore, Wrigglesworth said emergency responders performed CPR but couldn't revive him.

River tubing is a popular summer leisure activity. Each summer thousands of people float on the Penticton Channel.

But right now Wrigglesworth says the river is flowing extremely fast with water exiting a flooded Okanagan Lake.

"None of the men were wearing life jackets and even a strong swimmer wouldn't be able to swim against the current."

RCMP have not identified the deceased man, but say he was from out of province. 

With files from Brady Strachan