RCMP cracking down on cliff jumpers
Innisfail RCMP are pouncing on those who take to the eastern cliffs along Gleniffer Lake for cliff jumping.
The convergence of thrill-seekers along the lake’s eastern bank has increased in recent years, said Innisfail RCMP Staff Sgt. Chris Matechuk.
More and more people have taken to the area to jump into the lake from the approximately seven-metre-high cliffs.
But the area is on Crown land that Matechuk said is not legally accessible to the public.
“Signs have been erected by the dam officials, but (people) seem to take the signs down and find alternate ways in,” he said.
The dirt road leading to the popular site is for authorized vehicles only, but Matechuk said people often drive down it and park along the road, drawing complaints from area residents who then see access to their fields restricted.
Other drivers pull off the road towards the cliff, he said, which is dangerous because “the cliffs are loose.”
To combat the increased use of the area, police are stepping up their enforcement of the space and implementing a zero tolerance policy for illegal activity and trespassing.
Matechuk said there have been no injuries from cliff jumping at the site this year, but in the past water level fluctuations resulting from dam releases have led to jumping miscalculations and injuries.
“It’s a safety concern because the bank’s loose and there’s no way of telling how deep the water is,” he said.
Another concern, he said, is from people drinking alcohol at the site and leaving litter and broken bottles behind. He said police have started writing more tickets in the area but the problem is ongoing.
Fines range from $287 for unauthorized drivers travelling on the dirt road to $57 for drivers whose vehicles are parked along the road without authorization. The fine for consuming liquor in a public place is $115.