Port Moody Fire Rescue and Port Moody Police are warning residents and visitors to stay off the mudflats in the Port Moody Arm of Burrard Inlet. The mudflats are dangerous and unpredictable. While they may seem firm, they can give way suddenly, and can act like quicksand in some areas. People and animals can sink, get stuck, and be unable to get out before the tide comes in.
“Based on anecdotal reports and our own observations, it seems like an increasing number of people are walking across the Burrard Inlet mudflats at low tide,” says Port Moody Police Chief David Fleugel. “Luckily, no one has been hurt, but the danger is real. If you are walking the Shoreline Trail, or visiting Rocky Point Park or Old Orchard Park, stay off the mudflats.”
“When the tide is low, it’s tempting to try to cross from one side of the inlet to the other,” says Port Moody Fire Chief Ron Coulson. “But the mudflats are deceiving, and can be as deep as eight feet in the middle of the inlet. You don’t realize the danger until you start sinking and can’t get out. Port Moody Fire Rescue is equipped and trained to perform mud rescue, but it’s safer for everyone if people stay on the boardwalks and trails.”
If you get stuck in the mud, Port Moody Fire Rescue and Port Moody Police advise the following: stay calm and do not struggle to free yourself, as you will risk injury and potentially sink even deeper; yell for help and, if you have a phone, call 9-1-1 and ask for Fire. If you see someone who is stuck, advise the person not to panic. Call 9-1-1 and ask for Fire.
Port Moody has one of the few remaining large mudflats in Burrard Inlet. It is an environmentally sensitive area that is home to many nesting shoreline species such as purple martins, osprey, and great blue heron. The mudflats are home to a biodiverse community of fish, shellfish, and other significant tidal species that are sensitive to disturbance. The city’s trail system, including wooden boardwalks that wrap the head of the inlet, is designed so visitors can experience and enjoy the wildlife that live there, while staying off the mudflats. Residents and visitors can stay out of danger, and ensure this special place remains for future generations, by remaining on the designated trails and keeping dogs on a leash.
Ron Coulson, Port Moody Fire Chief
David Fleugel, Port Moody Police Chief
Natasha Vander Wal, Communications Specialist