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Death at Capilano Suspension Bridge underscores wilderness dangers

Tourists are framed among the giant trees as they walk across the Capilano suspension bridge which crosses the Capilano river in North Vancouver, Wednesday, June 4, 2008.

JONATHAN HAYWARD/THE CANADIAN PRESS

North Vancouver RCMP are reviewing surveillance videos to try to determine why a 30-year-old hiker climbed over a safety railing and fell to his death at the Capilano Suspension Bridge.

The man, a visitor from St. Catharines, Ont., tumbled over a rocky outcrop by the bridge to the canyon floor 60 metres below. Police were called just before 6 p.m. on Saturday, but had to bring in North Shore Search and Rescue workers to retrieve the body from the rocks by the river.

The victim's name has not been released at the request of his family.

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Corporal Richard De Jong, spokesperson for the North Vancouver RCMP, said there is no criminal investigation. The cause of death will be determined by the B.C. Coroners Service.

"He was with family," Cpl. De Jong said. "They were vacationing in the Vancouver area, it was one of their stops."

The park is a popular tourist attraction featuring a swaying 137-metre-long suspension bridge 70 metres above the Capilano River.

The accident underscores the need for visitors to respect safety precautions in B.C.'s parks and wilderness areas, said coroner Barb McLintock.

She noted that every summer British Columbia sees a spike in accidental deaths as tourists head out to enjoy the province's scenery. "We encourage people who have visitors coming here to recognize that people from out of province may not be aware of how cold B.C. waters are, how slippery and rugged our trails are," she said. "Tourists need to understand that when we put up signs and warnings, we really, really mean it."

Two years ago, a 17-year-old visitor from California died after falling from a viewing deck at one end of the suspension bridge.

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About the Author
B.C. politics reporter

Based in the press gallery of the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, Justine has followed the ups and downs of B.C. premiers since 1988. She has also worked as a business reporter and on Parliament Hill covering national politics. More

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