SQUAMISH (NEWS 1130) – Vandals appear to have hit the Sea to Sky Gondola for a second time. This comes just more than a year after cables were deliberately cut, sending dozens of cars crashing to the ground.
The attraction’s general manager says “exactly the same thing” happened Monday morning.
“Something you’d never think would happen, once in a lifetime, has happened twice,” General Manager Kirby Brown tells Mountain FM. “An individual climbed a tower and, despite our security system and all of the measures, rapidly cut through the cable and brought the gondola to the ground.”
Brown says the RCMP is on scene.
The Sea to Sky Gondola brought in additional security following last year’s vandalism. However, that didn’t appear to deter the person responsible.
“We’ve got clear imagery of what happened,” he says, adding most of his team had not been made aware of what happened as of 7:00 a.m. Monday.
“As the light comes on the gondola, it’s perfectly clear to everybody what’s happened, given the experience that we and our town has been through before,” Brown says, adding the investigation is still in its early stages.
The cutting of the cable in 2019 resulted in millions of dollars in damage. The company was forced to bring in about 30 new cabins and a new main haul rope from Europe.
Drones spottes at @seatoskygondola as police investigate.
Staff at front gate appear appreciative as visitors being turned away offer best wishes.
Gondola has been hit by previous cutting and pandemic.
— David Zura (@DavidZuraCityTV) September 14, 2020
The gondola reopened on Valentine’s Day this year, earlier than expected.
A report, released on Sept. 18, 2019, confirmed that the cable had been deliberately cut. No one had been arrested in connection with the vandalism.
“This is one bad actor who needs to be caught and brought to justice for the protection and safety of us all,” Brown tells Mountain FM, adding the company will do what it can to keep people safe and hopefully rebuild, again.
Spending the morning on the phone with industry partners, Brown says everyone is rallying around the Sea to Sky Gondola to get it back up and running.
“We now know that in addition to all the security measures we put in place before, we’re going to have to put more physical protections in place until this person is caught. That will be the focus of the RCMP,” he says.
The priority now is to get the gondola operating again, he adds.
“We’re not going to let one person bring us or the town down,” Brown affirms. “I know we will rebuild again.”
-With files from Mountain FM, Monika Gul, and Martin MacMahon