A young woman was rescued by a police marine unit after falling into the frigid ocean at the tip of the Ogden Point breakwater early Saturday morning.
Several young adults were on the breakwater about 3 a.m. when one woman fell from the edge, hit the hard surface below and fell into the water, according to Victoria Fire Chief Dave Bicknell.
Her friends reportedly pulled her from the water, but Victoria police transported the woman to shore.
“She was transferred onto the police boat and brought to where B.C. Ambulance could take her,” Bicknell said.
No details on the woman’s injuries were available.
Safety on the breakwater has become a hot-button issue recently. The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority plans to install handrails along the 700-metre landmark to meet insurance requirements and improve safety for workers and the public.
Accidents happen, Bicknell said. “It’s not uncommon, let’s just say that.”
Two deaths and several serious injuries attributed to falls from the breakwater have been reported in the Times Colonist since 1992:
• 1992 — A 20-year-old man is believed to have suffered a seizure and died after falling off.
• 1995 — A 45-year-old man trips and suffers severe head injuries.
• 1998 — A 69-year-old woman falls while climbing down large stone blocks at the end of the breakwater.
• 2000 — A 14-year-old girl hits her head but is not seriously injured.
• 2001 — A 63-year-old woman is found dead in the water. The death is believed to be accidental.
• 2001 — A man breaks several bones after falling off the breakwater.
• 2003 — A man suffers head injuries after losing his footing and falling backward.
Critics of the railing plan say the railings will ruin views and that people should know the risks of walking the breakwater.
Victoria company Zapco Welding and Fabricating received the $425,000 contract from the Harbour Authority last week.
The work is expected to be completed by March 31.
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