The Resort Municipality of Whistler is targeting rope swings in its parks and lake areas after a 21-year-old Whistler resident suffered significant head trauma while attempting to use one at Alpha Lake.
Communications officials indicate the Parks department removed that particular swing at Pine Point Park and has removed similar swings in previous years from that area along with the tree limbs that support the ropes.
They added two rope swings at Lost Lake have been removed and annually swings at Blueberry Park are also targeted.
“The RMOW does not condone the use of rope swings in any of its parks due to the risk associated with their use,” wrote communications officials in an email. “When the RMOW receives reports of any rope swings, staff are instructed to remove them.”
Sgt. Rob Knapton with the RCMP said on Aug. 4 at 7:20 p.m. officers received a report that the 21-year-old had climbed 15 feet up some rocks adjacent to the swing at Alpha Lake in an attempt to swing into the water and fell, hitting his head.
Knapton said the young man landed in the water unconscious and was pulled out by friends and stabilized. Search and Rescue crews were called in by boat to assist ambulance crews in accessing him.
B.C. Ambulance spokesperson Kelsie Carwithen said he was taken to the health care centre and transported to a Vancouver hospital by helicopter with serious injuries.
Knapton, however, said he has since been released from hospital and is lucky not to have sustained more serious injuries.
“He did strike his head on a rock when he fell,” he said.
Municipal officials added they are meeting with the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources Operations to discuss safety issues associated with a rope swing and diving platform at Logger’s Lake.