No drowning here: Safety campaign launched for Capilano River Park

May 3 2023, 5:25 pm

As Vancouver’s weather remains predictably unpredictable, so does the ever-changing water level of the Capilano River in North Vancouver. That’s why Metro Vancouver has launched an education initiative on how to stay safe in the scenic Capilano River Regional Park.

Tips include paying attention to surroundings and avoiding distractions like headphones, as well as staying on designated trails.

Metro Vancouver/ Courtesy

Even a seemingly innocent move could be a blunder, according to District of North Vancouver Fire and Rescue Assistant Chief Kit Little.

“The edge is a really dangerous place. [In] a lot of places, there’s a lot of moss and grass that grows over it, but there’s nothing underneath it. And we’ve had people get really close to the edge, step on this, think they’re standing on solid ground, and they will up falling 20, 30, 50 feet” said Little in a video on the campaign website.

Rescue teams are dispatched every year to save residents stranded on rocks after an abrupt increase in water flow.

Dam operations and sudden weather changes could trigger a rapid rise in river levels at any time. Water level could jump for more than five meters with raging water rushing faster than 21 km/h, according to a news release from Metro Vancouver.

Part of the safety campaign was an upgrade of Alertable, a free app commonly used by BC emergency organizations. App users will receive a notification on evacuation guidance on their electronic device when Metro Vancouver issues an emergency alert.

Metro Vancouver/ Courtesy

Metro Vancouver added it will continue to improve dame operations and install more warning signs along the river to ensure public safety near the Cleveland Dam.

Regina NgRegina Ng

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