British Columbia

Victoria-area beachgoers warned to watch for needles

People at a popular beach on Victoria's West Shore were alarmed to find dozens of used syringes in the sand near children playing.

'It's scary ... I was sick to my stomach,' writes Victoria woman who called bylaw officer

Some of the needles found by Lonna Nash Saturday on a beach on Esquimalt Lagoon in the City of Colwood, west of Victoria. (Lonna Nash/Facebook)

People at a popular beach on Victoria's West Shore were alarmed to find dozens of used syringes in the sand near children playing — and there may be more, according to a bylaw officer with the City of Colwood.

Lonna Nash posted on Facebook that she was walking around Esquimalt Lagoon on Saturday, taking pictures, when she noticed a couple of needles on the beach.

She started looking for the sharps and found about 30, she wrote, before calling 911 to alert officials.

"It's scary ... I was sick to my stomach," wrote Nash in a post that has been shared more than 700 times.

"While we were finding them, there were kids playing barefooted on the beach."

A bylaw officer arrived and gathered about 50 syringes that day, she wrote.

Needles were washing up in several spots on the shore, according to people who visited over the weekend. (Nicole Gallant/Facebook)

Still washing up

This morning, there were still some needles on the beach, according to a bylaw officer with the City of Colwood.

"I found two just along here at the high tide line mixed in with the seaweed; obviously two leftovers from the incident on Saturday," said Phillip Williams.

"We will continue to come down here through the week just to make sure there is nothing else left behind."

The city said the needles may have been dumped in garbage from a passing ship, or a nearby bridge.

"That's how it appeared based on the fact that they washed up in great numbers on the tide line, in the seaweed that we see along here," said communications manager Sandra Russell.

Anyone who finds a needle at the beach should call the City of Colwood so it can be properly disposed of, said Williams.

The syringes were found on this beach along Esquimalt Lagoon in the City of Colwood, west of Victoria. (Megan Thomas/CBC)

With files from Megan Thomas

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