River bullies need to be caught

letter to the editor from Florence Thomson, Kamloops - river bullies need to be caught

To the editor;

On Friday, Aug. 16, at 3:25 p.m., I was in my kayak travelling downriver on the North Thompson.

I had just passed below Arthur Hatton elementary, which is on the corner of Schubert Drive and Chestnut Street in North Kamloops.

I was feeling a bit smug and very happy — smug as I had completed my river trip from Barriere without any mishaps, and very happy because I was only 30 minutes from my home on Royal Avenue and was looking forward to seeing my husband and having a cold beer.

In a matter of minutes, however, my smug and happy feelings turned to fear and dread.

I had noticed a boat travelling upriver across from me when it changed course and came diagonally across the river, straight at me.

I was not worried at first as I thought they would change to an upriver course once again in a minute or two.

This was not to be.

They kept coming straight for me.

I paddled closer and closer to the river bank —  which, in this part of the river, is steep and covered in rip rap — and kept hoping they would turn.

Just when I had accepted the fact they were going to either hit me or force me into the river bank, they turned upriver again.

All I had to deal with was their wake, which was fairly easy to handle.

There were three young males standing in the dull green, metal, flat-bottomed river boat. I had the impression one or two of them were quite tanned with short, bleached blonde hair.

There is no doubt in my mind this was a deliberate act of intimidation and was probably also caught on someone’s smartphone.

Because these individuals were standing, and the fact my kayak is bright yellow in colour, visibility would not have been a problem.

I object to having my safety on the river threatened by irresponsible half-wits who use a power boat as a tool for intimidation.

If these individuals are sharing their experience of bullying either verbally or on the Internet, and you happen to know their names, I am asking that you give that information to RCMP Const. Vincent Stevens, file No. 2013/25048.

I have one question for the three individuals who were in the boat and, more specifically, for the pilot: What are you going to be when you grow up?

Florence Thomson