High winds, big waves batter west coast of Vancouver Island

Several beaches, including those in Pacific Rim National Park, were closed Thursday as the west coast of Vancouver Island was hit with high winds and swells of up to 9.5 metres.

CTV reports that they were some of the largest waves seen on the west coast of Vancouver Island in a decade – possibly the largest ever.

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“Mostly, it’s the danger of the water,” Randy Mercer of Parks Canada told CHEK News of the decision to close the beaches. There’s a risk of being knocked down and dragged out by the waves, or being struck by floating logs, he said.

Beaches will remain closed through Friday, when swells are forecast to start dropping. Check for updates here.

Mark Boysen, the city manager for Ucluelet, said Little Beach was covered with dead fish and logs, and a dock was destroyed. The Wild Pacific Trail paths will be checked over before they are reopened to make sure they are safe, he said.

An employee from Long Beach Lodge took this video, which was shared on Twitter:

This one comes from CHEK News:

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