Remote Canadian island turns tragedy into a skatepark

Villagers from Ahousaht, a small fishing village outside of Vancouver, Canada, are turning a tragedy into something more positive.

In October, a whale watching boat was knocked over due to a large wave and 27 people fell into the frigid water near Tofino.

Tragically, six people died but that number could have been much higher had residents from the remote fishing village Ahousaht not responded so quickly.

One of the passengers they saved was 37-year-old skate park designer Dwayne Mazereeuw.

When he learned of the community's efforts to install a public skate park, he immediately knew how he was going to repay the people who saved his life.

He offered his services to design the skate park free of charge.

A Canadian skateboard manufacturing company called Landyachtz was trying to get a public skatepark built for at-risk youth in the First Nation’s village.

Landyachtz co-founder Mike Perreten has been trying get the skate park built for two years on the island which is only accessible by boat or plane.

First Nation skateboard

Skater boarders from Landyachtz taught children in Ahousaht how to skateboard. The remote fishing vilage has only 1.25 miles of road so a skate park is sorely needed. Photo: Landyachtz

He started the project after visiting the island to teach at-risk kids how to skateboard.

“It was just so obvious right away that this community would benefit so much from a skateboard park here,” Perreten told CTV News yesterday.

His company committed to contributing $10,000 as did the city council but more funds were needed.

An Indiegogo campaign just reached the goal of raising $20,000 for the skate park, making the dream a future reality.

Perreten said Mazereeuw's contribution will save them a lot of money since the design alone, even for a small skate park, can cost upwards of $20,000.

Now, officials need to find a new location for the skate park because they can build a larger one than originally planned.

Perreten hopes to begin construction by spring.

More from GrindTV

Arnold Schwarzenegger doesn't give a **** if you agree with climate change

New, portable 360 camera comes to Indiegogo

Thousands of cyclists gather to honor Thai king