Reply To: Threat Paddler Access to Third Beach & Siwash Rock

Nick Heath

Thanks for posting, Philip.

I saw this a couple of days ago and alerted PIKA, BCMTNA and our Pres, Randy.SKABC and members should submit their comments.

The Port Authority has a weak process for notifying interested parties and seems to have done no consultation with those affected.  The only rational provided is the word ‘safety’ but nothing specific is provided for rationale.

This notification is about extending an existing ban on navigation by non-motorized vessels through First and Second Narrows.

In my view paddling and rowing should be permitted under both Narrows outside the defined shipping lanes, but paddle craft and row boats should not be permitted to enter or cross those lanes. This would give we paddlers and rowers access into and out of the inner harbour, which currently we are barred from entering or leaving.  I realize that there are strong (but predictable) currents at both bridges.  Paddle and oar propelled vessels are capable of sustaining speeds exceeding some motorized vessels.  We do not require the deep draft clearance of the main channels. If we remain clear of the buoyed channels, risk of collision is small.

Transiting from the Salish Sea to/from Burrard Inlet is a traditional route for non-motorized vessels, long pre-dating the Port of Vancouver itself. We should re-establish this right of transit. At a minimum, we should resist being picked on as a scapegoat by the Port Authority and kept even further away from areas already often used by recreational paddlers.