‘Mud-bogging incident’ requires canoe rescue at Nanaimo River Estuary

‘Mud-bogging incident’ requires canoe rescue at Nanaimo River Estuary
BC Wildlife Federation/Facebook
One of the stuck vehicles is shown.

A Nanaimo RCMP officer had to hop into a canoe to rescue the occupants of two cars who had become stranded in the Nanaimo River Estuary during an ill-advised and illegal “mud-bogging incident.”

The vehicles became stranded after being driven into the estuary on Monday, May 27, and the occupants of the car became concerned as tides started to rise.

To reach the stranded people, an RCMP officer that was called to the scene used a canoe to rescue them.

Police say a bystander offered the Mountie their canoe, and he paddled about 30 to 40 metres through “relatively calm waters” to get to the occupants of the car, who were standing on an outcrop of land.

It took several trips back and forth before everyone was safely back on solid ground.

Mounties add that the officer wore a life jacket that all first responders keep in their vehicles 24/7.

RCMP did not issue any violation tickets, but the BC Conservation Officer Service (BCCOS) says mud-bogging incidents like this can lead to fines.

“Violation tickets for mud bogging are $575, and other penalties may include towing or impoundment of vehicles and expenses related to habitat restoration,” said the BCCOS.

The conservation service service notes the estuary, located near Cedar, is a sensitive ecosystem and that all vehicle are banned from entering it.

The two vehicles that were there Monday were carefully towed out of the estuary on Tuesday night.

The BCCOS says it’s now in contact with law enforcement and other conservation partners, including the Nature Trust of BC, Ducks Unlimited, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Snuneymuxw First Nation, about next steps.

The conservation service adds that it received “several reports” about the mud-bogging incident on Monday, and urges anyone who sees similar prohibited activities to contact the Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) hotline at 1-877-952-7277.

SEE ALSO: UN kudos for Canadian project to climate-proof Vancouver Island estuaries

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