BC Ambulance and View Royal Fire Rescue responded to a critically-injured young male at Thetis Lake on Wednesday evening. Fire Chief Paul Hurst says he repeats the same warning every year, asking the public to avoid the cliffs and be safe around the lake. (Courtesy of Adam Evans)

View Royal fire chief frustrated by Thetis Lake accidents

‘You’re rolling the dice every time you jump off,’ chief says

This article contains details that may disturb some readers.

Another critical injury at Thetis Lake has View Royal Fire Chief Paul Hurst calling for change – again.

Around 5 p.m. Wednesday evening the fire department was called to the cliff area of Thetis Lake for reports of an unconscious young male found in the water.

The male had been taken to shore by paddle boarders who scooped him from the water and possibly saved his life, Hurst said.

“If those people weren’t there, he would have drowned,” he added.

BC Ambulance and View Royal Fire Rescue treated the male and he was taken to Victoria General Hospital. His condition is unknown.

READ ALSO: Years of ‘horrific, violent accidents’ at Thetis Lake prompt plea to public

For Hurst, responding to serious injuries or deaths at Thetis Lake is all too common. The fire chief repeats his warnings every summer, asking the public not to jump from or spend time near the cliffs.

“I don’t know how many times people can say it,” he said. “Some people heed the advice and for those people who don’t, the consequences are pretty evident.”

They aren’t just random accidents, Hurst said. There is a high probability that those who choose to jump off the cliffs will be seriously injured or killed. The cliffs, which are roughly 30 to 40 feet above the water – are slanted in a way that requires people to run and jump in order to clear the rocky ledges and shallow waters directly below. The issue is many people don’t jump far enough, or they simply fall straight down.

“You’re rolling the dice every time you jump off. I’ve seen broken backs, broken necks, drownings … brain matter coming out of a person’s head. If that’s not enough of a deterrent then … there’s no advice I can give you,” Hurst said.

Hurst adds that these incidents are traumatizing for the families and witnesses.

The incident on Wednesday, July 22 was the second water-related emergency in the region this week. On July 21 a 32-year-old woman died after drowning at Matheson Lake in Metchosin.

READ ALSO: 32-year-old woman drowns at Matheson Lake in Metchosin

READ ALSO: Dozens of people die in B.C. waters each summer: Here’s how to not be one of them


Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:nina.grossman@blackpress.ca. Follow us on Instagram.
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