One year after a Dutch tourist fell to his death at Elk Falls Provincial Park, BC Parks and the BC Coroners Service have worked together to significantly improve safety measures near the falls, while allowing continued public access to this popular attraction.
Today’s visitors to the park will find a new viewing structure, a new sturdy metal staircase, and new signs clearly identifying the risks of venturing too near the edge of the fast-flowing river.
The new signs use international symbols to indicate hazards for falling, for swift water currents and for a waterfall, so they can be easily understood by international tourists and visitors who are unfamiliar with written English.
The Coroners Service started an investigation and BC Parks began a formal assessment process for the park immediately after the death of Cornelius Bot on July 18, 2011. Bot, 42, a tourist from the Netherlands, was taking photos when he slipped, fell into the river and was swept over the falls.
It was the second similar fatality at the park in five years. On June 25, 2006, Tim Arthur, 35, of Nanaimo was getting a glass of water from the river when he too fell in and went over the falls.
Emergency Service Providers and BC Hydro were also consulted during the planning process, and water flow levels were monitored to determine the best location and design for the new viewing structure.