Wade Gamble, general manager of Jakes at the Lake in Lake Cowichan, prepares his tube for a ride on the Cowichan River now that the Town of Lake Cowichan has lifted the tubing ban this summer. Gamble said his restaurant, as well as many other local businesses, will benefit from the lifting of the ban. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

Summer tubing ban on Cowichan River lifted

The Tube Shack opening on June 27

The tubing ban on the Cowichan River has been lifted and The Tube Shack has announced it will be open for business for the summer as of June 27.

Tim McGonigle, acting Mayor of Lake Cowichan, said council decided to lift the ban and issue The Tube Shack a business licence for the season after determining that tubing on the river would be allowed under Island Health’s recently introduced stage-two plan for reopening some businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

RELATED STORY: THE TUBE SHACK BREAKS WORLD RECORD ON COWICHAN RIVER

He said the town contacted WorkSafe BC and was advised that tubing would be permitted under stage two’s sports and recreation policies, and then reviewed The Tube Shack’s phased reopening plan for the summer and, after some concerns and issues were satisfactorily addressed by the company, the town gave the green light for it to open for the summer.

The town’s other tubing operator, Outdoor Recreation Kayak and Adventures, has informed the town that it has decided not to open for tubing this season at this time.

“We still have some concerns with the influx of people that will be coming here for tubing, and we’ll be watching launch points to ensure social distancing rules are being observed,” McGonigle said.

“Tubing is popular here and there are a number of spin-off businesses that rely on it as well, so we’re pleased that tubing will take place this summer.”

The town had banned tubing for the summer on the Cowichan River in April, after it was determined that tubing and its related activities could break the stringent rules around social distancing that were in place at the time.

RELATED STORY: TOWN OF LAKE COWICHAN BANS TUBING ON COWICHAN RIVER THIS SUMMER

Aaron Frisby, owner of The Tube Shack, said both the business and town officials are happy with the plans to lift the tubing ban, and The Tube Shack is “extremely excited” that it will be opening on June 27.

But he said that because of the provincial guidelines around mass gatherings due to the ongoing health emergency, just 20 tubers will be released on the river every 30 minutes, with customers having to book in advance online through the company website.

“We have to make sure our plan is fluid and up to date with WorkSafe BC and Island Health requirements as the pandemic progresses, but we feel we can manage numbers and keep both our employees and customers safe through the new COVID-19 measures,” Frisby said.

“Tubes will have to be cleaned and transported in a separate vehicle from passengers at the end of their tubing adventure, as well as shuttle capacities halved as part of the attempts to maintain social distancing. With customers booking online, we will be more than prepared for their arrival, have equipment ready for them as soon as they get to The Tube Shack, with minimum interaction with our staff and eliminating lineups altogether.”

Although some services will be unavailable this season due to the pandemic, Frisby said The Tube Shack has come up with some alternatives.

“With the reduced capacity of our shuttles, we obviously won’t be able to provide a shuttle-only service for those bringing their own tubes as well as our staff not being able to hold customers’ car keys while they float, so we have ordered a large amount of dry bags to strap to their tubes to hold personal belongings to combat this issue,” he said.

“The Tube Shack would like to thank the Town of Lake Cowichan for their willingness to listen and react during these difficult times, and supporting local small businesses.”



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Coronavirusrecreation

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

West Shore Rotary Club raises $20,000 with Golf Ball Drop fundraiser

Nearly 4,000 golf balls poured onto Olympic View golf course Saturday

Construction slows weekend traffic at Millstream overpass

West Shore RCMP recommend Leigh Road exit instead

TRAFFIC: Saanich emergency crews responding to Pat Bay Highway collision

Incident took place at Haliburton Road intersection

Saanich race car driver shifts gears as pandemic cuts U.S. season short

Bill Okell, 65, sets sights on Canadian racing circuit for 2020

Chorus expands online options to in-person rehearsal in Langford, Oak Bay

Free, non-auditioned SingYourJoy recruits those aged 16 to 29

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

Vancouver Island Tour de Rock riders roll into Parksville Qualicum Beach

Saturday’s schedule includes Port Alberni, Ucluelet and Tofino, followed by Nanaimo on Sunday

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Trudeau ‘disappointed’ by RCMP treatment of Sikh officers over mask issue

World Sikh Organization of Canada said taking Sikh officers off the front lines constitutes discrimination

Liberals reach deal with NDP on COVID-19 aid bill, likely averting election

NDP and the Liberals have reached an agreement on COVID-19 sick-leave

Most Read