Safety & Participant Responsibilities

SAFETY PLAN

PADDLE FOR THE PEACE

 July 9, 2016

On July 9, 2016, the Peace Valley Environment Association, West Moberly First Nations, and Prophet River First Nation are hosting a family paddle event on the Peace River to raise public awareness about the environmental, cultural and historic values of the Peace River and the potential impacts resulting from the construction of the proposed Site C dam.

HAZARD ASSESSMENT

Specific hazards that may be encountered:

  • Boating on the Peace River: strong currents, submerged obstacles, floating hazards,
  • Inclement weather (rain, flooding, heat – heat stroke, dehydration),
  • Capsizing/falling overboard – drowning, hypothermia,
  • Slippery shoreline substrates and undercut banks,
  • Fluctuating water levels. – Organizers will be liaising with BC Hydro prior to the event in order to obtain information regarding anticipated river fluctuations and flows for the day of the event,
  • Other boating traffic, especially jet boats, and
  • Encounters with wildlife.

SAFETY GUIDELINES

The following outlines safety measures that will be undertaken during this event:

1          Paddler Responsibilities

Participants are expected to be relatively self-sufficient and prepare for the trip as they would for any other recreational paddling event.  Participants are advised of the following:

  • Expect the trip to take between 2 to 3 hours.
  • Be prepared for all weather conditions. Bring rain-gear, warm clothes, a hat, appropriate footwear, sunscreen, insect repellant, and personal medication.  An umbrella is useful in both rainy and sunny conditions.
  • Bring snacks, drinking water, and other necessities for the trip.
  • Each participant must have a Personal Floatation Device.
  • Ensure that your watercraft is sound (i.e., no leaks).

2          General Route and Timing

Participating paddlers will register and sign a waiver prior to the official launch (Registration 9:00 to 11:00 AM, July 9, 2016).  Prior to the official launch at 12:00 PM, a head-count of participants will be produced from the registration forms.  Paddlers will launch from the west side of the Highway 29 crossing of the Halfway River and disembark approximately 16 km downstream, at the north shore of the Peace River at Arlene and Ken Boon’s property, located at Bear Flat (Cache Creek).  The entire journey is expected to take between 2 and 3 hours.  All participants must be off the river by 4:00 PM.

3          Traffic Control

Upon arrival at the Launch and Take-out locations, participant traffic will be controlled by a series of flag people stationed at highway turnoffs, and access roads to the launch, take-out and parking areas.  Travel routes to launches and parking will also be signed with posters and fluorescent orange arrow markers.

4          Paddler Support Boats

The flotilla will be accompanied by at least eight support boats (jet boats).  Two will be stationed at the front and rear of the group while the remaining boats will be positioned within the flotilla of paddlers.  These boats will be readily identifiable by flags bearing the “Paddle for the Peace” logo or flags from supporting ENGOs (e.g. Amnesty International, Sierra Club, Wilderness Committee, and others).

Key support boats will be in radio contact using 2-way mobile VHF radios tuned to the LADD 2 road channel (158.940 MHz).  A list of alternative road channels is included below if this channel proves to be busy during the day of the event.  Support boats will have cell service coverage and a list of emergency numbers. Key support boats will also carry a hand-held GPS.

In addition to standard Canadian Coast Guard required safety equipment, support boats will also be equipped with the following safety gear:

  • 2-way mobile radio or cell phone
  • First-aid kit
  • Emergency throw lines
  • Blankets and/or sleeping bags
  • Extra paddles
  • Bottled water

The function of the support boats will be to:

  • Guide paddlers down the river from the launch site to the take-out site,
  • Provide assistance to paddlers, including directions around potential navigation hazards (e.g., shallow channels, sub-merged rocks, ledges, etc.),
  • Rescue paddlers in the event of a capsized canoe/kayak,
  • Attend to medical situations, as needed, and .
  • Recover items such as dropped paddles.

The rear safety boat will attempt to ensure that any slow moving paddlers or stragglers in the flotilla are accounted for.  As the majority of paddlers arrive at the take-out, the lead safety boat will be deployed downstream of the take-out to intercept any paddlers attempting to paddle downstream past the take-out location; their intentions will be determined and they will be advised that the only public take-out downstream of Bear Flat is an additional 40 km downstream  The remaining safety boats arriving at the take-out will be deployed upstream, as needed, to attend to stragglers.  A final sweep of the paddle route will be conducted when the safety boats return to the Halfway launch site to trailer their boats.

5          MEDICAL EMERGENCIES – MEDIVAC

With the recent addition of cell towers to the valley, there is cell coverage along the river. We will rely on using 911 as a means of seeking help for emergency situations.

In the event of a major medical emergency requiring attention from trained medical personnel or medivac, the following procedures will be followed:

  • The nearest support boat will attend and assess the situation, then make radio or cell-phone contact with the nearest key support boat,
  • Call 911 – Provincial emergency personnel will be contacted immediately (911 if in cell range using the contact numbers on the attached list),
  • Support boats equipped with 2-way radios will be in constant communication (LADD 2 158.940 MHz),
  • Depending on the nature of the emergency and instruction provided by EMS, the patient will be transported by jet boat to the agreed upon rendezvous location. (Latitude and longitude coordinates of the launch and takeout locations are attached).

Paddle for the Peace

map

Emergency Contact and Locations List

  1. Emergency Contacts
  RCMP Fire Ambulance
911 911 911
Fort St. John 787-8100 785-4333 785-2079
Hudson’s Hope 783-5241 783-9900 1-800-461-9911
BC Hydro GM Schrum Operator 250-783-5021
Beau Bridges, A & J First Aid (onsite) 250-788-5275

 

  1. Helicopter Contacts

 

Bailey Helicopters                     1-250-785-2518

Canadian Helicopters                 1-250-787-0431

Highland Helicopters                 1-250-787-7912

Yellowhead Helicopters

 

  1. Potential Emergency Evacuation Locations

 

Location Coordinates
Latitude-Longitude UTM
Halfway River Bridge (Launch Site) 56.21599°N  121.44298°W 10V 596561E  6231210N

 

Boon Property (Take-out Site) 56.26739°N  121.22402°W 10V 609991E 6237258N

 

  1. 2-Way Radio Frequencies

 

LADD 2 (158.940) will be used as a communication channel between support boats.  In the event that this channel is busy or its use interferes with regular work use in the area, other channels will be used.  In order of preference, these channels are:

 

Ladd 1 – 154.100 MHz Ladd 4 – 173.370 MHz RR 18 – 150.700 MHz
Ladd 3 – 154.325 MHz RR 14 – 150.545 MHz RR 21 – 150.010 MHz

 


  1. Contacts
SAFETY BOAT CREWS
Boat Safety Boats Phone Boat Position Description 2-Way Radio  
1 Brad & Diane Culling

(Key Support Boat #1)

250-261-9044 (Brad)

250-793-9945 (Diane)

Rover #1 FN Drummer’s Boat Y
2 Don Hoffman

(Key Support Boat #2)

250-263-1074 (c) Rover #2 Photographer’s Boat
3 Ted Euchner

(Key Support Boat #3)

250-261-4970 (c) Lead Boat Leads flotilla Y
4 Roy Lusk 250-261-4320 Position 2 First Third of Flotilla
5 Mark Meier 250-263-1430 (c) Position 3 Middle of Flotilla
6 Blane Meek 250-263-4174 (c) Position  5 Middle of Flotilla
7 Fred McRae

[& Brian Churchill]

250-262-1926 (c)  Position 6 Middle of Flotilla Y
8 Gerry Kelly 250-262-6721 (c) Position 7 Last Third of Flotilla
9 Jim & Janice McKnight 250-262-1673 End Boat Keeps track of last canoes Y

 

Paddle Committee & Support Contacts
Diane Culling 250-793-9945 Danielle Yeoman 250-793-7811
Arlene Boon 250-261-4295 Ken Boon 250-262-9014
Verena Hoffman 250-793-1124 Don Hoffmann 250-263-1074
Clarence Wilson 250-788-6970 Ruth Ann Darnell 250-262-6891
Clay Peck 250-261-5947 Andrea Morison

(PVEA Coordinator)

250-793-7279
Lou Bates 250-261-1062 Maureen Peck (Highway traffic control) 250-262-6568
Beau Bridges; J & A First Aid 250-788-5275
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