Barrier working at Covehead Bridge to prevent jumpers

The barrier that was constructed last year on Covehead Bridge in P.E.I. National Park is doing its job, says a Parks Canada official.

Barrier was erected last summer to prevent daredevils from jumping off the bridge

The barrier at Covehead Bridge curves outward, and was designed to make the bridge hard to scale. (Jessica Doria-Brown/CBC News)

A barrier constructed last year on Covehead Bridge in P.E.I. National Park to prevent people from jumping off of it is doing its job.

Tara McNally MacPhee, visitor experience manager for P.E.I. National Park, said there has been a drastic reduction in the number of daredevils jumping from the bridge since the barrier was put up.

"The barrier's been extremely effective ... there's been a reduced number of bridge jumpers this year, a significantly reduced number," she said.

"We're really pleased with that."

'Serious or life-threatening injuries'

McNally MacPhee said the barrier was erected because of incidents in the past and concerns that a serious injury or fatality might occur.

People were jumping from the bridge into an active harbour, which made collisions with marine vessels a distinct and frightening possibility.

"There's been some close calls," said McNally MacPhee.

The barrier has been doing its job according to Tara McNally-Macphee, visitor experience manager for P.E.I. National Park. (Stephanie Kelly/CBC)

She added that because the harbour is old, there is also a risk of jumpers hitting old infrastructure at the bottom of the harbour.

"There could be serious or life-threatening injuries like cuts, slashes or even impalements," said McNally MacPhee.

Barrier not 100 per cent effective

Despite the barrier, McNally MacPhee said staff have received several reports from visitors about people jumping over the bridge.

"It's extremely cumbersome and difficult to get over that barrier, and it does pose additional safety hazards," she said.

McNally MacPhee said that there haven't been any fines given out so far this year for jumping off the bridge.

With files from Noah Richardson