After the Haida Gwaii earthquake Oct. 27, a former Commander of the Kitsilano Coast Guard base is, again, warning the federal government against shutting the facility down. And he hasn’t even had time to comment on the 6.3 quake off Vancouver Island Nov. 7.
From VANCOUVER/CKNW (AM980): Fred Moxey says Kits base would be one of the only structures in the area to survive if the “big one” ever strikes Vancouver.
“Kitsilano was rebuilt in 1991 after a fire destroyed it. The station has been built to withstand the highest earthquake that we would expect here on the West coast and the pilings are right down in the solid bedrock.”
Moxey says the Richmond Sea Island base where Coast Guard assets would be consolidated is not built to withstand an earthquake and sits in an area with a number of concerns, including liquefaction, in the aftermath of a big quake.
He says Coast Guard hovercrafts and other craft would end up out of action if they were in dock at Sea Island base when a quake struck unlike Kits base.
“They would be available to communicate to the rescue centre in Victoria and also through to the city of Vancouver as to the navigable water ways, bridges would probably be compromised, and they would also be doing search and rescue, they would be perhaps fire-fighting”
Moxey says replacement assets like an inshore rescue boat and volunteer Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue staff would be unable to fight fires and would likely have a hard time even getting crews to various bases after a serious earthquake
He says Kits base isn’t just manned around the clock but staff are highly trained for situations like emergency response.
Last modified: November 8, 2012