Waddington and Dufferin area
criminal charges and lawsuits could result
On August 05, 2016, BC Hydro contacted the Nanaimo RCMP to report hydro crews had been dispatched with taking down 50 lb test fishing line wrapped around power lines in the Waddington and Dufferin area. As well line had been wound around trees, across road ways, over houses and through yards.
Nanaimo RCMP, as well as the BC Hydro crews, believe unknown persons were using a drone to fly the wire around the lines. Upon further inspection it was noted a small flashlight and headlamp were fastened to the line. Investigators believe this was done so the suspects would be able to see where the drone was flying the line.
There have been similar incidents in the past near the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital helicopter landing pad, which could cause significant problems for air ambulances. Should the pilot not see the wire there could be drastic consequences if the line became enmeshed in the helicopters rotator blades causing a possible crash. BC hydro spokesperson, Ted Olynyk, states, "This reckless behaviour puts the public and crews at risk. If an accident or outage were to occur, those involved in this negligent behaviour expose themselves to criminal charges and lawsuits for damages as a result of an incident. BC Hydro will seek damages for costs of any work required to repair lines or make them safe."
The RCMP recognizes that guidelines and regulations around the use of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (drones) are continuing to evolve. The RCMP asks pilots to respect the safety tips and guidelines as outlined by Transport Canada.
Some of these tips are: fly in daylight, keep your aircraft in sight, respect the privacy of others, don’t fly in populated areas including concerts or sporting events, beaches or higher than 90 metres. The tips also ask operators not to fly anywhere where they may interfere with first responders, or within 9km of an airport.
If anyone has information on either of these two incidents, call the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 or contact Crime Stoppers at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com, text 274637, keyword Nanaimo or call 1-800-222-8477.