Vancouver authorities worked together on Monday to help a struggling group of paddleboarders trapped near Lions Gate Bridge.
According to a press release issued by the Vancouver Police Department, several government agencies joined forces on September 7 to rescue thirty stranded paddleboarders in the vicinity of the said bridge.
Aside from the VPD Marine Unit, the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue, the Coast Guard, and the Fraser Port Authority pitched in to make the rescue mission successful. They managed to get 17 paddleboarders back to shore, while the rest reached the North Shore without assistance.
Sergeant Addison of the VPD shared that “their lack of experience, combined with wind, tides, and waves created by heavy marine traffic, pushed the paddleboarders into a treacherous situation.”
It was also found during the follow-up investigation conducted that the paddleboarders set out from Jericho and were looking to reach Ambleside in West Vancouver. Unfortunately, while the waters were generally calm at first, more than half of the paddleboarders got stranded near the bridge when they encountered high winds and strong currents.
“Unfortunately, this group thought there was safety in numbers, and they greatly underestimated the conditions,” Sergeant Addison pointed out. “This mishap is a good reminder for anyone venturing out on the water to stay close to shore if you don’t have the skills and experience to navigate in open water safely,”
The authorities also reminded all water sports enthusiasts to keep clear from Siwash Rock and the Berry Point refinery because kayaks and paddleboards are not allowed there.