No charges have been laid against two men who jumped barefoot off a Pride cruise at Silver Falls, Indian Arm Aug 4.
“Two guys jumped off because their excuse was they wanted to get a closer view of the falls,” says CruiseyT vice-president James Steck. The HMV
Britannia, one of the boats CruiseyT uses for its annual fundraising party cruises, sent out its own rescue team to try to retrieve the men, adds Steck, but to no avail.
“They climbed up the mountain and they refused to come down,” Steck continues. “Our guys climbed the mountain about 100 feet up; the boat’s staff chased them, trying to get them.
“We were on the speakers, like, ‘Guys you have to come down, because there’s no way out’ because literally, on that mountain, there’s no way for anyone to get out,” Steck says.
“They refused, so we had no choice but to call the Coast Guard, the RCMP, the police —nine different areas of enforcement had to be called to get these guys off,” Steck estimates.
Steck says the Britannia and its 450 party passengers were stranded for three hours because of the incident. “Two people really inconvenienced an entire party ship through foolish behaviour.”
RCMP Const Michael McLaughlin says the entire operation took about six hours.
“It ended up being quite an involved operation simply because it’s so isolated and the chances of death or grievous bodily harm are quite high in those circumstances,” McLaughlin notes.
He alleges that alcohol and “other factors” were involved. The men’s names have not been released but police say they’re 23 and 28 years old and residents of Vancouver.
In the end, the RCMP found the two early in the following morning about an hour’s walk north of Silver Falls.
McLaughlin says charges against the two were considered but rejected as investigators felt they would not be in the public interest.
“I know a lot of people are quite upset, and frankly I can understand why. This was a foolish action by two men who really ought to have known better,” he says.
Steck says he has no idea what the financial fallout will be, noting that CruiseyT will have to pay additional boat rental and fuel charges, staff overtime costs and other bills for which he has not seen the invoices as yet.
“For CruiseyT it really sucks because we’re here to raise money for our community, not just spend it foolishly.
I think the two gentlemen should take some responsibility on their own for their foolish action,” Steck says.