Threat Paddler Access to Third Beach & Siwash Rock

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  • #13807
    Philip Kubik

    The Vancouver Port Authority is proposing to prohibit watercraft including kayaks, canoes, and paddle boards from the waters off the NW shore of Stanley Park, including Third Beach and Siwash Rock. I would like to encourage SKABC members to comment on the proposal. The deadline for public comment is Sunday, Oct. 8. Comments may be emailed to, e.g., with subject “Comments on Proposed Notice of Amendment: Port Information Guide”.

    The proposed restricted area (MRA-1) is shown in yellow on the map below.

    Here is a link to the full document.

    Notice of Amendment: Port Information Guide

    Relevant passages are:

    p. 59:

    The First Narrows Movement Restricted Area (MRA-1) comprises an area enclosed:

    • To the west by a line drawn directly north from Ferguson Point off Stanley Park and the intersection of a line drawn from the north pier of First Narrows Lions Gate Bridge through Capilano Light.
    • To the east by a line drawn from Brockton Point off Stanley Park to Burnaby Shoal, then north to the eastern edge of Fibreco Dock.

    p. 67
    For safety reasons, vessels engaged in fishing (including crab-by-trap), personal watercraft such as jet skis, row boats, canoes and vessels, sailing or proceeding without mechanical power, are not permitted within MRA-1. Fishing, sailing and other non-powered recreational activity is permitted only in designated areas outside of the boundaries of MRA-1 west of First Narrows Lions Gate Bridge.

    The Jericho Sailing Centre has some information at:

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  • #13813
    Kathy Romses

    The federal Navigation Protection Act is the legislation that governs the waterways that the Port Authority is working on revising.

    Members can provide a comment on the proposed changes and copy their Member of Parliament. I am planning on sending an email that will include the lack of genuine consultation, existing rules that prohibit kayaks from paddling around Siwash Rock and proposed changes to the regulations.

    Good luck everyone.

    John McIntyre

    I was all ready to send my objection in, when I decided to check on what the previous boundaries were.  The relevant pages (85 and 86) from the 2016 Port Information Guide and those from the 2017 proposed changes (59 and 101) do show the boundary has changed on the west.  However, east of Ferguson Point and Siwash rock were already in the exclusion zone for kayaks and other pleasure craft.


    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.


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