Bonnie Whyte stands near the spot where a motorboat zipped by her, just 10 fet away from her, while she was swimming in the Vedder River on Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021. “I’m actually very lucky I got out of the way,” she said on Aug. 20. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

LETTER: Another jet boat close call on Vedder River

'We need more attention before there is a bad story to report'

Re: “Senior swimming in Vedder River almost struck by boater,” Progress, News, Aug. 27, 2021.

I have had a similar situation but with my dog. I live in yarrow and I have a couple dogs. I take them for a swim in the river. One night after dinner I was walking through the trails and I heard the boats coming, quickly. My senior dog was already wading in the river. I came out of the trail and called for her to get out of the water and she just got out and two river boats quickly drove past. I looked them in the eyes. They saw me and my dogs but didn’t slow down. Luckily my dog listens. The wash on the shore was about three feet from the river. They water isn’t that deep, we walk across to the sand bar so you can imagine how fast the boats were going. There were two boats with four to five people each clearly holding beers in their hands and didn’t care that we were using the river also.

Further up the river there were other people and dogs swimming and they didn’t slow down either. The Vedder River is wide but not when the water is low and there are only small portions that are swimmable and deep enough for boats. It’s not a good mix.

Thanks for doing the story on the swimmer. I think we need more attention before there is a bad story to report.

Jen Sibley

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