Public Safety - Kayak Launch - 2009

Public Safety - Kayak Launch - 2009

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Dear Members:
Over the past summer there have been a number of near collisions between kayakers and other boats which use the Government Dock as well as ongoing kayak launching and docking problems for residents and visitors because of the height of the dock. SIPOA's Executive Committee was asked to bring this public safety issue to the attention of the relevant authorities. See the letter below:

September 1, 2009

The Southern Gulf Islands Harbours Commission
625 Fisgard Street
Victoria BC
V8W 1R7

Attn: Ken Hancock, Director

Dear Sir:
Re: Saturna Wharf: Kayak Safety Issues

I write on behalf of the Saturna Island Property Owners Association (SIPOA) to seek your support in addressing an issue of increasing concern for the Saturna Wharf: namely, the use of the Saturna (Lyall Harbour) dock by sea kayakers.

We are noting that more and more kayakers using the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve are launching their kayaks from this dock. Unfortunately, the dock’s floats are too high for safely launching kayaks. Therefore, we are suggesting to you that an additional lower dock be installed on the inside of the floats to the right of the gangway.

This concern was brought to our attention by Bob Bruce, who with his spouse operates a small sea kayaking business on Saturna Island. He is very familiar with this issue and could no doubt elaborate.

The possible solution we propose above would appear to serve to separate kayakers from other boaters on the Saturna, thus avoiding conflict between these user groups. In addition, it would also increase general public safety since lowering a kayak from the height of the dock at present can cause serious back injuries.

We would be pleased to discuss this issue with you at your convenience and look forward to hearing from you and discussing possible options in the near future.

Yours very truly

Murray Rankin
Vice President

cc. Gloria Manzano, Saturna Wharfinger
Deputy Minister Claire Dansereau, Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Hon. Gary Lunn, MP
Hon. Murray Coell, MLA