Powerboat ban proposed on river after recent accidents

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Back-to-back jetboat accidents on a river in Vancouver, B.C., — one that claimed the life of a well-known fly fishing expert — are prompting some to call for a powerboat ban on the river.

Ron Hjorth, 64, drowned Monday when a jetboat flipped over on the upper Pitt River.

“This may upset a few people, but it’s time to have that river listed as unnavigable, just because it eats so many boats,” Kelly Davison, owner of Sea-Run Fly & Tackle in Coquitlam, B.C., told the Vancouver Sun on Tuesday.

“The thing with the upper Pitt, it’s a very changeable river, even daily. Where there was a safe passage before, it can be gone by afternoon. I can’t think of all the times there’s been an accident. It’s time to make that river basically just for rafting and not power.”

Hjorth was Davison’s employee. Three other adults survived.

“He’s been in the fishing industry most of his life,” Davison said. “He was fishing with friends on one of his favorite rivers. He’s fished up there a fair bit and knows the area.”