Hopewell Rocks sees another collapse in roped-off area
There has been another collapse at New Brunswick’s Hopewell Rocks following the fall of the site’s historic Elephant Rock last year.
“This is when we get the most of the rockfalls, is in the spring,” says Kevin Snair of Hopewell Rocks. “It’s maybe a little bit bigger than some years, but certainly not as big as last year.”
Last year’s collapse of the Elephant Rock attracted visitors from around the world.
“A lot of guests as they were arriving here already knew about it,” says Snair. “If they couldn’t name it by name, they were certainly saying, ‘We heard one fell this year, where’s the one that fell?’”
The latest rockfall is a reminder that the rocks are constantly changing, but officials say the safety measures in place are working.
One section of the park is roped off to keep people away, and that’s where the latest collapse happened.
Snair says the same team of experts has been assessing the rocks for more than 30 years, deciding whether or not an area is safe for visitors.
“It’s a testament to the fact that the process is working. That’s partly why it’s important that the same team does it year after year,” says Snair. “They’ve got this long knowledge base now of what things have looked like.”
Rockfalls can’t be prevented, so park staff ask visitors to stay away from areas that are roped off.
“We have 17 interpreters and many of them are on the beach and they’re watching for people going behind the barriers and climbing rocks and whatnot, because, let’s face it, it can be dangerous,” says Paul Gaudet, the interpretive services manager at Hopewell Rocks.
Gaudet says a serious injury hasn’t occurred in the 14 years he has worked at Hopewell Rocks, and he hopes to keep that streak going.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Jonathan MacInnis