Sunken boat thought to be abandoned

Coast Guard has concerns about oil or gas possibly leaking from craft

There are more questions than answers about what will happen with this boat which rests on the bottom of Northwest Bay near Parksville in a photo taken Jan. 1.

There are more questions than answers about what will happen with this boat which rests on the bottom of Northwest Bay near Parksville in a photo taken Jan. 1.

A sunken boat moored in Northwest Bay is in limbo and some suggest it has been abandoned.

Ian Barnes of the nearby Beachcomber Marina said he reported it to the coast guard about a month ago when he first saw it sticking out of the water near the shore.

He said they came and looked at it but he hasn’t heard anything since.

Coast Guard communication officer Dan Bate didn’t know of the specific incident, but said their main concern is leaking hydro-carbons like oil or gas.

Since there are no reports of a spill, he guessed they didn’t consider it a threat. “If it’s not polluting that’s a different issue, it becomes a navigation issue for Transport Canada.”

Pollution, or threats of pollution must be reported to 1-800-889-8852.

Local diver Lyle Montgomery is familiar with the boat, but not certain who owns it anymore.

He had worked with a recent owner of the boat, to bring up a previous “kind of derelict boat,” that had sunk.

“Three or four years ago we had a big Christmas snowfall. With the weight of the snow it pushed it below where the caulking was all dried out. We got it up again and it had a hole the size of a piano. We ended up scuttling it in several thousand feet of water.”

He said the man bought another derelict boat and moored it to the same buoy but told Montgomery he has since sold it.

Montgomery said the man said the new owners have plans to raise it with a barge from Chemainus, which he guessed would cost $10,000 and be a silly way to do what they could do much easier.

 

“I think it’s going to be abandoned and then it will become a coast guard issue. I think the owner has washed his hands. You know it’s going to break its lines and end up on a beach,” Montgomery, said pointing out it could become a major nuisance to the owners and neighbours of whatever shore it lands on.

With files from Neil Horner

 

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