Skip to main content

Mounties issue water safety warning for North Shore nature goers


Summer weather has arrived early in Metro Vancouver, meaning people are flocking to local trails, parks and beaches to spend the warm, sunny days outdoors.

As more people are heading out to enjoy the city’s wilderness areas, North Vancouver RCMP issued water safety tips for those spending time at the North Shore’s rivers and lakes.

This warning comes after a man was rescued from Lynn Canyon’s strong currents before going over a waterfall, and the tragic drowning death of Keen Lau when he was swept away by fast-flowing Cypress Creek.

Both incidents occurred over the May long weekend, which was also a busy time for North Shore Rescue, which issued a warning after rescuing three hikers from Cypress Provincial Park. 

In a Wednesday news release, Mounties say that while beautiful, North Vancouver’s natural waterways are often fast moving, cold and unpredictable, so it is important to be aware of the risks that could lead to accident and injury when swimming, fishing or hiking near these bodies of water.

“With the beautiful and sunny weather we’ve had lately, we wanted to take time and remind North Van residents to tread carefully when spending time around the water,” says Cst. Mansoor Sahak in the release.

“It is vitally important to be mindful of areas of fast-flowing water and strong currents, even if you do not plan on getting wet. Slippery rocks, drop-offs and unseen debris can lead to potentially dangerous situations,” he continues.

RCMP warn not to put your feet in fast-moving water that is deeper than the length of your arm. “If a foot becomes entrapped by rocky bottom in deep water, the current will eventually push the swimmer over face first into the water,” the release reads.

Other safety tips provided include wearing a life jacket, staying out of the water if you can’t swim, letting someone know before you go to a lesser-travelled area and not drinking alcohol before getting in water.

According to police, not wearing a life jacket or personal floatation device contributes to 84 per cent of boating deaths. Regulations require all boats, including canoes and kayaks, to have an approved personal floatation device for each person.

Additionally, “in water below 15 C, life jackets provide insulation and help avoid cold water shock and hypothermia — dangers even the strongest swimmers can't avoid,” police say.

Mounties also urge guardians to keep children within sight and reach. Young children can drown in just one inch of water, and according to police, two-thirds of drowning deaths among children under five-years-old happen when they aren’t being supervised.

North Vancouver RCMP says it will be patrolling shorelines throughout the summer. Top Stories

Stay Connected