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Warning for boaters as incidents increase in Vancouver

Last Updated Jun 4, 2019 at 7:58 pm PDT

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — As boating season ramps up, you’re being reminded that when you’re out in the water, you’re not the only one out there.

The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority says close-calls and potentially dangerous incidents have been on the rise, as areas like Waterfront and False Creek see so many vessels sharing space. Cargo ships, speed boats, paddleboats and sea-planes all need to watch out for one another.

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Jamie Gibson with the VPD Marine Unit remembers one bad crash several years ago between two vessels.

“They’re racing eachother, which is a bit reckless. Off of Jericho, there was a little laser sailbot. They cut hard to try to avoid it. A young lady jumped off the bow as the power boat hit it, and basically evicerated her foot,” he says.

There have been more boating incidents and close-calls along Vancouver’s waterfront lately, according to Jason Krott with the Port Authority. He says it’s because boats and small planes are landing there.

“It’s an uncontrolled area, lots of boats, lots of aircraft. The aircraft are looking for a particular point to put down,” he says. “Your average boater isn’t necessarily used to paying attention to aircraft coming and going.”

He says there’s a lot of confusion as multiple ships try to squeeze through the passage below the Lion’s Gate Bridge.

“To have this narrow gateway, right here were ships are trying to keep it steady speed, and all of the different user transiting that area, rental boat uses, small commerical operators, sail boat operators, it is a very unique situation,” he says.

He says boaters need to stay close to the water’s edge and be careful on the water at night, and remember that navagation lights can often blend in with the city lights on the shore.


You’re being asked to keep to the edge of the water to let bigger ships through.