‘Grossly intoxicated’ kayakers arrested in Oyama

Published on August 12, 2023 by David Wylie

Kayaks sitting in Oyama Pioneer ParkPhoto: Contributed/RCMP
Two men were arrested after kayaking while staggeringly drunk.

Two “grossly intoxicated” men were arrested in Oyama Pioneer Park after RCMP received a tip about the drunks’ dangerous behaviour.

A witness tipped off the Lake Country RCMP that a kayaker had passed out in his boat, and that his friend fell out of his own kayak trying to help his unconscious counterpart. He fell out several more times on his way back to shore.

Witnesses helped the passed out boater back to shore.

“This is an example of how to not enjoy the sun and lakes of the Okanagan,” says Lake Country RCMP Cpl. Ryder Birtwistle. “Both men were fortunate to not have fallen off their boats in either lake, as they were not wearing life-jackets that were on board.”

Police say the pair then went back out onto Wood Lake a short time later, and then onto Kalamalka Lake.

They beached at Pioneer Park in Oyama, where officers were waiting on Aug. 5. Police say they saw the men staggering and swearing as they tried to bring their kayaks ashore.

Both men were arrested and taken to Kelowna city cells to sober up.

They were ticketed for being intoxicated in a public space.

The Lake Country RCMP issued a reminder that drinking alcohol while boating is dangerous and illegal.

So far this year, 24 people have drowned in BC, according to the Lifesaving Society.

Snapshot of drowning victims

Photo: Contributed/Lifesaving Society
The 2020 BC Drowning Report published by the Lifesaving Society.