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Kayakers struck by large log rolled off cliff near Nanaimo; man arrested

A few minutes after having an exchange with a man on shore, the paddlers heard a commotion. They looked up to see the man pushing a large log off a cliff directly above them, RCMP said.

A man faces charges of assault with a weapon after rolling a large log off a cliff and striking two kayakers.

The kayakers were paddling close to shore off Jesse Island at the entrance to Departure Bay in Nanaimo when they were hit by the log, which was about 20 feet long and eight inches in diameter.

RCMP said a 43-year-old man and a 39-year-old woman were paddling by the island last Saturday evening, exploring some rock features, when a man appeared some distance above them. The paddlers told police there was a short exchange with the man and they continued paddling.

A few minutes later, the paddlers heard a commotion. They looked up to see the man pushing a large log off a cliff directly above them.

The log struck the woman in the back with enough force to knock her out of her kayak and into the ocean. The log also hit her companion, who managed to stay upright in his kayak and assisted his friend to shore.

Several witnesses called police to report the incident.

RCMP, with assistance from a Nanaimo Port Authority vessel, arrived a short time later and arrested a 37-year-old man.

He was later released from custody on an undertaking to appear in Nanaimo provincial court on Nov. 9.

“This was bizarre incident, and given the size and weight of the log, and distance it fell, the log could have caused serious injury to both individuals,” said Reserve Const. Gary O’Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP.

The investigation is ongoing.

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