The Tube Shack in Lake Cowichan on Vancouver Island was successful in its attempt to break a world record on July 21.
Owner Aaron Frisby said the goal was to break the Guinness World Record of 215.10 metres of tubes linked together.
On Sunday morning, Frisby said approximately 200 people in tubes lined up along the Cowichan River and stretched to make a 219.6-metre chain.
He said it’s not official yet as the effort to break the world record has to be confirmed and double-checked by officials from Guinness before it will get into the book as a record breaker.
“It was so close that some of our staff members had to take to tubes to clinch the world record,” Frisby said.
“I thought the long line of tubers would go right down the river but, because of the wind, the line formed into a horseshoe. There was a lot of people here in tubes, but on a busy day, we could have anywhere from 700 to 1,000 people tubing down the river. We had a total of about 1,000 by the end of the day on Sunday.”
Frisby said he was relieved that they accomplished the world record, and the event was also a celebration of the 75th anniversary of Lake Cowichan and an effort to raise awareness of using proper sunscreens while on the river.
He said $2,000 was also raised at the event to help the family of Charleigh Fales, the three-year-old toddler from Lake Cowichan who was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder that requires expensive treatments.
But Frisby said he doesn’t think The Tube Shack will hold another similar event anytime soon.
“There was a lot of negativity around the event and I was disappointed as to how many people perceived it,” he said.
“People were saying on social media that the sunscreens being used by our customers are killing the river but they don’t investigate further to find out the truth. Sunday’s event was sponsored by Stream2Sea (which makes sunscreens that are safe for the environment) and we supply their products to our customers free of charge.”
Frisby said The Tube Shack has also faced criticism over sending tubers down the river while water levels are so low and the perception that they are putting extra strain on fish populations.
He said workers placed extra washrooms along the river course to give people more options to relieve themselves than peeing in the river, and the water levels in the river are expected to be running at 4.5cm/s most of the summer, which is sufficient to keep tubers afloat with little impact on the river system.
“Everyone had a lot of fun on Sunday,” he said.
“Lake Cowichan relies a lot on tourism at this time of the year and we were successful in bringing in lots of visitors for Sunday’s event.”