Search and Rescue preaching safety for Puntledge River tubers
The Puntledge River in the Comox Valley is one of the most popular tubing spots on Vancouver Island. Photo by James Wood/98.9 The Goat/Vista Radio.
COURTENAY, B.C. – Tubing down the Puntledge River is one of the most popular summer activities the Comox Valley has to offer.
As fun as it can be, though, the waters can be very dangerous, according to Comox Valley Ground Search and Rescue President, Paul Berry.
“Not every portion of the river is navigable, simply because of rocks or because of wood,” he said. Berry explained that foot entrapment is one of the biggest hazards visitors to the Puntledge can encounter.
“We do recommend that people do not put their feet down in the current until they are at least in mid-calf level water.”
Berry said another hazard tubers and swimmers could encounter are logs in the water.
“Logs and things like that form entrapment hazards in the water, so you want to make sure you stay out of those,” he said.
“Keep your feet up, (look) downstream and try to avoid any of those sorts of obstacles.”
Local Search and Rescue crews have been busy this summer. Earlier this month, a young family was rescued after getting caught along the Puntledge River.
A man also found himself stuck on a rock in the middle of the Stotan Falls area.
Berry said it’s important to do your research before trekking to an area that you’ve never been to before. If possible, he said you should travel with someone who is familiar with the terrain, whether it be on land or in the water.