(Updated) View Royal Fire Rescue to start towing vehicles from Thetis Lake

Thetis Cliffs

View Royal Fire Rescue crews were called out not once -- but 3 times to Thetis Lake Sunday. Two of the calls involved alcohol.

The first call was for a hiker who broke an ankle.  But Chief Paul Hurst says the second was for a minor passed out on a trail from consuming too much alcohol. The third was an adult male who jumped from a cliff into the water, hitting it hard.  He too had been consuming alcohol.

Hurst says it may be that CRD staff monitoring the area are overwhelmed by what's going on in the very large park -- but he says something more needs to be done:

" You know it, it's a problem that continues, and we need to figure out a way to control the amount of consumption in the park.  Everyone knows it's a public place. There's no alcohol or drug consumption in a public place. But that doesn't seem to be the case up at Thetis."

Hurst says the number of cars plugging up access also needs to be addressed as crews had a difficult time getting their trucks into the park -- including the emergency response dinghy used to get injured people out :

" It was near impossible to get emergency crews in. Between the beach and trying to launch the boat, literally hundreds of vehicles parked on the roadways within Thetis, on the streets leading to Thetis, vehicles parked in fire lanes blocking access -- some real common sense stuff where the curb is painted yellow and yet people are still parked in the fire lane. So that makes it difficult, if not impossible, for emergency crews to actually access  the park to deal with these incidents."

He will be taking the matter up with the Capital Regional District. Meantime Hurst tells CFAX 1070 the department has the authority to start towing cars immediately, and they plan to.


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