Sense of responsibility sinks at nation's shorelines

Published online: Jul 12, 2010 News Siri Agrell -
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From the deck of his home on Shuswap Lake, Ted Bacigalupo often sits and counts the boats that pack the popular, X-shaped body of water in the British Columbia Interior.

There are 40-foot speed boats zooming along at 100 kilometres an hour, darting among jet skis and sailboats. Hundreds of houseboats, some three storeys high and outfitted with onboard hot tubs, drift lazily toward notorious party spot Neilson Beach, where it's not unusual for anchored vessels to employ stern-faced bouncers.

What Mr. Bacigalupo also sees is that a sense of responsibility often sinks at the nation's shorelines. He keeps track of the tragedies. The nine-metre power boat that ran into Copper Island at full speed, killing a 24-year-old. The houseboat operator who backed up over a jet ski, its propeller dismembering the driver. The Saturday afternoon skippers who fall overboard after having a little bit too much to drink, and now last weekend's accident, which claimed the life of 53-year-old Ken Brown when a speedboat rammed into his houseboat.

"Every year we have fatalities on this lake," he said. "We're fed up. People come here to have a good time, not to end up at a funeral."


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