Two kayakers in Nanaimo were lucky to avoid serious injury after being struck by a log that was dropped from a cliff above them, say police.
According to a Nanaimo RCMP press release, the incident happened at about 6:45 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 6, in the waters off of Jesse Island, located at the entrance to Departure Bay.
The kayakers, a 43-year-old man and a 39-year-old woman, told police they were paddling by the island exploring some rock features when an individual on the island appeared some distance above them. There was a short exchange with the individual after which they continued paddling.
A few minutes later they heard a commotion above them and looked up to see the same person pushing a log off a cliff directly above them. The log struck the woman kayaker in the back with enough force to knock her out of her kayak and into the water. The log also hit her male companion, but he managed to stay in his kayak and helped his friend to shore where witnesses called police and reported the incident.
With the assistance of a Port of Nanaimo vessel, Nanaimo RCMP officers arrived at the island and arrested a 37-year-old man for assault with a weapon. The individual was later released from police custody on an undertaking to appear in provincial court in Nanaimo this fall.
Police measured the log at approximately 6.5 metres long.
“This was a 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, Nanaimo RCMP spokesperson, in the release.