Coroner and RCMP investigate death at popular cliff jumping spot
VANCOUVER -- North Vancouver’s Lynn Canyon has claimed another victim.
On Sunday afternoon, first responders were called to Twin Falls Bridge in Lynn Canyon Park in North Vancouver after witnesses say someone jumped into the water and never resurfaced. The victim’s body was retrieved several hours later.
North Vancouver RCMP would not provide information on the incident, but the BC Coroners Service says it is "investigating a sudden and unexpected death at Lynn Canyon" and that it is working to determine the cause of the person's death.
Several signs are posted in the area warning of the dangers of cliff jumping.
“In the last 30 years, we’ve had about 24 deaths in Lynn Canyon, and that’s one of the main reasons why we try to get the message out there about the hazards,” explains District of North Vancouver Fire Chief Brian Hutchinson.
Hutchinson says the water levels in the canyon at this time of year are not as low as they’d normally be, but he describes the water conditions as "extreme."
"It’s cold, it’s fast-moving, and it’s unpredictable at times," he says. "Add in the elements of a global pandemic, and it makes it a little more challenging."
COVID-19 safety protocols are in place for first responders, but Hutchinson says the nature of responding to emergencies means the risk is higher now, more than ever.
"When you have 15 to 18 personnel operating closely together on scene, some things we just can’t get around," he said.
During the pandemic, Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge has been closed, and vehicle access to the park’s parking lot has been restricted, but that hasn’t stopped people from flocking to the popular destination to cool off this summer.
The prevalence of photos and video on social media of people diving into the water also draws people to the canyon who have never been there before, and might be unfamiliar with the risks.
Hutchinson has this advice for people looking to explore the North Shore in a safe way: "The risks aren’t always obvious on social media… stay on the trails…stay out of the water."