Swim Bay

A snack shack at the Okanagan's only lifeguarded beach, in Peachland, can only sell pre-packaged, "non-potentially hazardous" items this summer.

Limited food and beverages will be available this summer at the Okanagan's only lifeguarded beach.

The long-time operator of the concession at Swim Bay has advised the town she can't run the snack shack this year.

Since there isn't time to put the contract to tender, the town's plan is to let interested non-profit groups make some money by running the concession.

But since the operating permit has been cancelled, Interior Health says only "pre-packaged, non-potentially hazardous food like pop, popsicles, and chips" can be sold to the public.

Previous summertime offerings have included the usual indulgences such as hamburgers, hot dogs, wraps, and ice cream.

Most towns and cities long ago got rid of lifeguards at beaches. But Peachland has had summertime lifeguards continuously since 1956, at a current annual cost of about $70,000 to taxpayers.

The lifeguarded beach is so popular there was an ill-fated scheme a few years ago to try charging non-Peachlanders to use it.

There are only 19 lifeguarded beaches in the province, according to the B.C. and Yukon branch of the Lifesaving Society. Eleven of them are in Vancouver.

Peachland's lifeguards, who are usually post-secondary students, take up their positions just before Canada Day and leave their high chairs just before Labour Day.