WATCH: An investigation is underway after a 28-year-old woman slipped and fell to her death at Sooke Potholes Regional Park over the weekend. Tess van Straaten has the latest.
It’s a popular swimming spot but Sooke Potholes Regional Park can also be dangerous.
“It’s totally use at your own risk,” one park user told CHEK News on Monday. “When you come out here it’s not like there’s a public pool where there are lifeguards.”
Emergency crews were called to the park around 8 o’clock Saturday evening, after a 28-year-old woman sitting on a cliff with her spouse overlooking the potholes tragically fell to her death.
“The two were sitting in an area on a rocky ledge and she went to get up and moved a short distance away and fell down, about 12 metres down, landing on some rocks below,” says regional coroner Matt Brown of the BC Coroners Service.
The victim, identified as Alysha Buzzeo of Sooke, died at the scene.
Investigators say Buzzeo knew the area well and the BC Coroners Service is now trying to determine whether slippery rocks, poor lighting, or a lack of signage may have been contributing factors.
“We have no indication of other previous fatalities in the area but certainly if there are things that could be altered or shifted in the area to help prevent this from happening in the future, it’s something we’d work with parks on,” Brown says.
Several serious incidents at Sooke Potholes over the years
There have been several serious incidents over the years.
In 2014, a man rock climbing survived a fall of more than 20 metres and had to be rescued after becoming stuck in an embankment.
A woman had to be rescued in 2013 after trying to save her dog, who’d gone over a waterfall.
And five years ago, almost to the day of this latest tragedy, a 34-year-old mother drowned in one of the pools.
The Capital Regional District, which runs the park, declined to comment on safety concerns but say their deepest condolences go out to the victim’s family and friends.
Officials say they’re cooperating fully with authorities and will wait for the coroner’s report.
Many park users, meanwhile, think more can be done to improve safety — especially when it comes to warning signs.