City adjusts swim zone

After the Columbia River’s strong rapids swept a 15-year-old girl under the swim buoy at Gyro Park, Trail has revisited what’s considered the safe swim zone.

After the Columbia River’s strong rapids swept a 15-year-old girl under the swim buoy at Gyro Park, Trail has revisited what’s considered the safe swim zone.

The city has pulled the rope in toward the shore 20 metres, following the near drowning early this month.

“I always thought that the rope gives people an idea that this is the swimming area,” said Trail Mayor Dieter Bogs.

“Now, unfortunately, when the water level goes up, the swimming area should be smaller because the velocity of the river gets faster and faster toward the shoreline.”

Bogs is grateful that Trail resident Bonny Leighton and Genelle’s Darrin Falat just happened to be out for a leisure jet ski Aug. 1 to scoop up the teen who was being held above water by a Good Samaritan, who was also struggling to fight the mighty river.

City staff and members of the 44 Engineer Squadron removed debris that was pushing the rope below or above the water and moved the rope to a new anchor 20 metres closer to Charles Lake Drive.

Relocating the designated swim zone, in addition to existing warning signs, may eliminate future scenarios but the city still asks swimmers to take precaution.

Trail receives ongoing updates on the river conditions from BC Hydro and was surprised to learn that the river level elevated a record set a decade ago.

The swim buoy was installed in 2008, when the river claimed two lives.