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Education still best deterrent for cliff jumping: North Van fire chief

(Source: LynnCanyon.ca)

NORTH VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Despite warning signs, rangers, and fencing at the popular park Lynn Canyon, emergency workers still find themselves rescuing injured drivers every summer.

District of North Vancouver’s Deputy Fire Chief Wayne Kennedy says even though it is unfortunate, there isn’t much else first responders can do besides educate people about the risks.

Kennedy says rangers circulating the park don’t hand out fines, nor do they chase people to keep them from cliff diving.

“They give them the opportunity to interact and give them the informed choice in a sense to just try to discourage the park users from cliff jumping and keep people safe.”

The park has seven rangers that go around the area to make sure people stay safe.

Kennedy says even though most of the cliff access surrounding the Lynn Canyon area is fenced off, people still manage to jump, which is why it’s so important for people to understand the risks involved.

“It’s really all the unknowns. There is current issues, there’s unknown hazards that you don’t see when you’re jumping down to the water which is you know maybe obscured by sunshine and you can’t really see into the water,” he adds.

And while calls for injured cliff divers can put a strain on their resources, Kennedy says trying to impose fines on those who do it wouldn’t be practical.

“We want people to visit our parks and enjoy themselves when they are outdoors, especially with the nice weather coming up, but they do need to exercise caution,” he adds. “They need to use good judgement when they are swimming in these areas.”

Meanwhile, search and rescue crews are trying to recover the bodies of three people who decided to take a dip in one of the pool at Shannon Falls.

-With files from Sonia Aslam