There was a close call for people and property at West Arrow Park as a two-part landslide struck. The two slides occurred back to back at about noon on Tuesday, May 8.
RCMP, Search and Rescue, Ministry of Transport and BC Ambulance were all dispatched and arrived on scene to the Arrow Park Cable Ferry landing at East Arrow Park to respond to the call on the west side. The timing was such that the ferry operator had already shut down for the daily two-hour afternoon closure. Operator Les Spooner was leaving the vessel, but was able to return to his post in the wheelhouse to shuttle the emergency crews across the narrows.
WaterBridge ferry operator Brian Mackie, a 20-year employee, commented, “We used to run straight through every night until 10:30 P.M. About 10 years ago they knocked it back three hours, one hour earlier in the evening (and two hours less in the afternoon.)” He stated that there is always a rush to get on during the last half hour before the shutdowns.
Emergency protocol dictates that they would call an operator to attend if none was on site but this presents a delay of half an hour while the employee comes back to the boat.
Mackie said that even by Wednesday, May 9, the extent of the slide was not known as no information was available from the authorities or RCMP. It is understood that no one was injured in the incident. Mackie says it’s just a matter of time before someone is seriously hurt or trapped, adding he feels the ferry should run straight through and go later at night saying, “I’m sure they are worried about slide activity after today.”
The RCMP could not be reached for comment.
The Arrow Park ferry runs across the junction of the Upper and Lower Arrow Lakes about 22 km south of Nakusp on Highway 6.