Water flows over the Cleveland Dam as people walk with a dog in Cleveland Park in North Vancouver, B.C., on Christmas Day, Friday Dec. 25, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

‘Human error’ led to dam release on Capilano River, killing one: report

Metro Vancouver to review implementing warning system

It was human error that led to the Cleveland Dam in North Vancouver releasing a large volume of water into the Capilano River earlier this month, killing a fisherman, according to a preliminary report.

“While the review continues, we can now confirm that the clearest contributing factor was human error related to programming of the control system for the spillway gate at the Cleveland Dam,” Metro Vancouver commissioner Jerry Dobrovolny said in a statement Thursday (Oct. 8).

“Metro Vancouver takes responsibility for this mistake and our deepest sympathies go out to those affected by the tragic loss of life.”

ALSO READ: 1 dead after water suddenly gushes from dam at Capilano River in North Vancouver

On Oct. 1, emergency crews were called to an area along the river known to be a popular spot for fishing after a large volume of water poured into an area that controls the dam’s flow. Four people were rescued or able to reach shore while a man was pulled from the water in medical distress but later died of his injuries.

The man’s son is still missing.

Since the incident, questions have been raised as to why the dam – as well as the other facility operated by Metro Vancouver in Seymour – do not have public warning systems.

Dobrovolny said that is now being considered. Metro Vancouver is also bringing in expert advisors to assess current practices and procedures and provide independent advice to better its maintenance systems.

“Following technical recommendations by experts, Metro Vancouver upgraded the Cleveland Dam spillway gate from a mechanical to fully automated control system in 2002 and there have been subsequent upgrades. Metro Vancouver has not experienced a similar unintended release of water in almost two decades,” Dobrovolny said.

“We are entirely compliant with all related WorkSafeBC orders and requirements.”

Dam safety reviews happen every seven years, with the last occurring in 2016.

The spillway gate will be closed through the end of the year and possibly into the spring.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nanaimo bluesman David Gogo releases his new single, Christine, on Oct. 30. (Photo courtesy Andrew Dodd)
Nanaimo bluesman David Gogo evokes return to good times with new single

Upcoming release ‘Christine’ among a dozen new songs written during pandemic

Premier John Horgan heads to his ride following his announcement that there will be a fall election as he speaks during a press conference in Langford in September. (Chad Hipolito/Canadian Press)
Editorial: Majority needs to work for all British Columbians

Concepts of co-operation change as we go from an NDP minority to a majority

Nanaimo RCMP are looking for a suspect who rammed a police car to escape an arrest attempt. (File photo)
Drug trafficking suspect rams police vehicle in Nanaimo and escapes arrest

Suspect still at large after fleeing from police in Harewood on Friday afternoon

Dr. Richard Stanwick, Island Health chief medical health officer, immunizes Victoria Schmid, Island Health’s vice-president of pandemic planning. (Submitted photo)
Island Health advising people to get a flu shot

People looking to get vaccinated should book an appointment, says Island Health

FILE – Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides the latest update on the COVID-19 pandemic in the province during a press conference in the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, October 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. shatters COVID-19 records with 817 weekend cases; masks now expected indoors

Three people have died over the past three reporting periods

RCMP have released more details regarding what led up to an arrest caught on video in Williams Lake Sunday, Oct. 26. (Facebook video screenshot)
Review launched after ‘high-risk, multi-jurisdictional’ chase, arrest in Williams Lake

RCMP launching a full review and code of conduct investigation

Freighter drags anchor towards Boulder Point Oct. 22. It came within 730 metres of the shore, according to maps from the Port of Nanaimo. (Photo submitted)
MacGregor introduces bill to address freighter anchorages along the South Coast

Concerns about the environment, noise, pollution and safety abundant

(Pxfuel)
B.C. limits events in private homes to household, plus ‘safe six’ amid COVID-19 surge

Henry issued a public health order limiting private gatherings to one household, plus a group of ‘safe six’ only

B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson speaks during a drive-in car rally campaign stop at a tour bus operator, in Delta, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Andrew Wilkinson stepping down as B.C. Liberal leader

Will stay on until the next party leader is chosen

Harvesters participating in the extended commercial halibut season will need to land their catch in either Prince Rupert (pictured), Vancouver, or Port Hardy by Dec. 14. (File photo)
B.C.’s commercial halibut season extended three weeks

COVID-19 market disruptions at the root of DFO’s decision

Campbell River's new hospital, July 2018
Nurse diverts opiates and falsifies records at Campbell River Hospital

Nurse facing disciplinary action for moving opiates out of the hospital

VicPD and B.C. Conservation Officer Service teamed up to free two bucks who were entangled in a fishing net and dragging a wheelbarrow sized piece of driftwood behind them. (VicPD)
VIDEO: Police, B.C. Conservation help two bucks caught in one fishing net

Bucks were also dragging a wheelbarrow sized piece of driftwood behind them

Most Read