White Rock RCMP say safety is their main concern after they had to pull a man off the broken pier Sunday afternoon.
White Rock photographer Randy Cosenzo was nearby at the time of the incident, and took photographs as an officer “coaxed” a man up to the pier deck.
“It was very strange,” Cosenzo told Peace Arch News Monday. “He was on the shoreline. He took parts of a sailboat that were already on the shore. He kind of tied them together to make a raft, believe it or not.”
Cosenzo said the man climbed the cross braces under the pier before he was “nabbed by the long arm of the law.”
Cosenzo said it appeared that the man was trying to remove a sail, which was tangled on the pier after the Dec. 20 storm that severed the structure into two.
White Rock RCMP Sgt. Rob Dixon told PAN via email Monday that the man was attempting to “clean up” some of the debris. The man received a trespassing ticket.
“Public safety is our main concern and anyone in the area is putting not only themselves, but anyone who has to come in and deal with them, at risk,” Dixon wrote. “Tickets will be issued to anyone who is located within the restricted area.”
To date, the RCMP have issued seven trespassing tickets to people who crossed barriers at the pier and promenade. Each ticket is accompanied by a fine of $115.
Hundreds of people crossed city barricades Jan. 5 to view damage caused by the storm on East Beach. Afterwards, the city erected reinforced barriers and additional no trespassing signs.
Last week, White Rock Mayor Darryl Walker reiterated “in the strongest possible terms” that East Beach and the pier pose a danger risk to those who ignore barriers.
Saturday, Karen Loveys, who has “been cleaning up garbage on this beach almost each day since the storm,” emailed PAN, and took issue with the directive to not visit the pier or east promenade.
“The RCMP were issuing trespassing “tickets” today on orders from the mayor of White Rock,” Loveys wrote. “Which is ridiculous. The offense of trespass is on private property in this country and not public lands.”
Loveys wrote that picking up garbage “is not an indictable offense.”
“If the plastics are not picked up they will end up in the ocean at the next storm.”
In a video posted to the city’s website Friday, Walker said the promenade, between the pier and white rock, will open some time in February.