View Royal Fire Rescue has been concerned about alcohol consumption and safety issues at Thetis Lake Regional Park for decades, says View Royal Fire Chief Paul Hurst. (Black Press Media file photo)

View Royal Fire Rescue has been concerned about alcohol consumption and safety issues at Thetis Lake Regional Park for decades, says View Royal Fire Chief Paul Hurst. (Black Press Media file photo)

View Royal mulling options to curb cliff jumping at Thetis Lake Park

Staff propose bylaw to charge for cliff jumping rescues, but mayor unconvinced

View Royal staff have proposed a bylaw that could make cliff jumping illegal at the popular Thetis Lake Regional Park, where every year many emergency rescue operations occur, mostly for drunk revellers who didn’t make the jump.

The draft bylaw proposes charging people for rescue service if they were engaged in illegal or reckless behaviour.

Cliff jumping is a dangerous activity, especially in this location where the ledge is 30 to 40 metres above the water, and jumpers have to clear both the sloped cliff and shallow water at the lake’s edge.

“You’re rolling the dice every time you jump off. I’ve seen broken backs, broken necks, drownings … brain matter coming out of a person’s head. If that’s not enough of a deterrent then … there’s no advice I can give you,” View Royal Fire Chief Paul Hurst told the Gazette last year.

View Royal council had some concerns with the proposed bylaw when it was reviewed earlier in May, and sent it back to staff. Mayor David Screech worries that if you charge people for some kinds of help, that it could discourage people for calling for help in an emergency.

He also felt that making it illegal to jump from higher than one metre was over the top.

”I understand what staff is trying to do and how hard it is to deal with all the calls in the summer, but I’m not sure that bylaw is the way to go,” Screech said.

READ MORE: View Royal fire chief frustrated by Thetis Lake accidents

Lifeguards would be a better solution, he thought, noting that View Royal has asked for lifeguards for years, but it’s a Capital Regional District decision, which has so far been a no.

View Royal Fire Rescue advised staff the minimum cost to the town for their emergency response is around $2,000 per hour. Currently View Royal foots the bill, and after decades of trying everything from public education to asking for fences, they’ve had enough.


Do you have a story tip? Email: zoe.ducklow@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

Emergency callsparksView RoyalWest Shore

Just Posted

Mural artist Paul Archer will soon begin work on a piece on the rear of a building at 100 Burnside Road West. (Gorge Tillicum Community Association)
Back of Burnside building in Saanich to feature mural of hope and positivity

Artist Paul Archer says subject will inspire memories, depict children’s future, sunshine, flowers

Victoria Truth Centre and Long-term Inmates Now in the Community (L.I.N.C.) Society are hoping to replicate in Langford the format used on Emma’s Farm in Mission, pictured here. (Patrick Penner/Black Press Media)
Victoria Truth Centre hopes to grow transformative justice in Langford

Purchase proposal would see offenders, survivors and families work on organic vegetable farm

Tyson Muzzillo, regional manager of BC Cannabis Store, welcomes shoppers to their Uptown location, opening on June 16. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)
Government-run cannabis store opening at Saanich’s Uptown

BC Cannabis Store the first for government in Greater Victoria, 27th in province

The stretch of trail north of Royal Bay Secondary connecting to Painters Trail at Murray’s Pond will be closed temporarily this week for invasive species removal. (Black Press Media file photo)
Colwood trail behind Royal Bay Secondary temporarily closed for invasive species removal

Cloure in effect from 9 a.m. Wednesday to 10 a.m. Friday this week

Proposed design for the Topaz Park bike and skate park elements. (Courtesy City of Victoria)
Victoria requesting feedback on Topaz Park redesign

Public input now being taken for proposed skate, bike park ideas

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

The B.C. government’s vaccine booking website is busy processing second-dose appointments, with more than 76 per cent of adults having received a first dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations stable for Tuesday

108 new confirmed cases, 139 in hospital, 39 in intensive care

Cowichan Tribes man Adrian Sylvester is worried that he was targetted by a trailer hitch thrown from a vehicle. (Facebook photo)
Cowichan Tribes man worried he was target of trailer hitch

Adrian Sylvester says no one has reported a missing hitch after one nearly hit him

Graeme Roberts, who was mayor of Nanaimo from 1984-86, died this month at age 89. (Photo courtesy Nanaimo Community Archives)
City of Nanaimo flags at half-mast as former mayor Graeme Roberts dies at 89

‘Giant-killer’ beat out Frank Ney in mayoral election in 1984

Most Read