Kinsmen Park & Departure Bay Beach , Nanaimo, BC
At Noon July 22 during the Nanaimo Bathtub Race, the Gabriola based Save Our Shores (SOS) and Silva Bay Kayak Adventures are hosting an Anti-Supertanker Kayak Rally in Departure Bay’s Waterfront and Kinsmen Park. To graphically demonstrate the supertankers’ immense sizes, a large group of kayakers and non-motorized boaters will paddle out into the bay and form the shape and dimensions of a supertanker.
“Our goal is to raise awareness about the potential threat that oil tankers will pose to the British Columbia coastal environment,” says event organizer and kayak guide, Ryan Masson. “Kayakers and other boaters appreciate how lucky we are to live in and enjoy paddling in this amazing environment. Just the other day I saw both a pod of Orcas and a Humpback Whales just off of here, It`s this amazing marine life here on the BC coasts that are what we’re trying to protect.”
The Great Bear Rainforest and the area around Kitimat contain one of the largest remaining unspoilt temperate rainforests in the world. The pipeline goes through this area. The area is recognized globally as special and unique and concerned people from BC and Alberta have a responsibility to protect. Supertankers pose one of the biggest threats ever to the Northern Pacific coastlines which are renowned for extreme, unpredictable weather. The possibility of an oil tanker grounding on the BC coast is real.
The recently formed SOS held a similar No-Tankers event at Descanso Bay Regional Park on Gabriola during last month’s Ocean’s Day, which has received some coverage in the Nanaimo press. Participants marched through the forest carrying 1280 feet of yellow crime scene tape (the length of a supertanker), passing the tape off to a group of small boats and kayaks who carried it out to sea (see photo). One paddler says, “When I stopped and looked back to see the tape I was really surprised. I knew that supertankers were huge, but I didn’t think they were that big!”
The public is invited to watch as the flotilla of kayakers arrange themselves into the supertanker shape. Nanaimo and district Kayakers and others are invited to join the SOS group and those interested should phone Silva Bay Kayak Adventures at 250-247-8939 or email@example.com. Participants must provide their own kayaking and safety equipment.
An SOS group on shore will provide information, literature and a no-tankers petition from the Victoria-based Dogwood Initiative for interested spectators to sign. Read more at http://dogwoodinitiative.org