Hundreds of abandoned watercraft are in B.C. oceans and rivers, posing an ecological risk. CBC News reporter Lyndsay Duncombe meets some of the people working for change including the Saanich Inlet Protection Society. SIPS Director Michael Simmons met with the CBC reporter to discuss and present the problem.
While the CBC refers to Derelict Boats we prefer to use the terms used in the Wrecked, Abandoned and Hazardous Vessels Act (WAHVA). They are "DILAPIDATED" and "ABANDONED".
Watch the Video
CBC's Stephen Quinn also highlighted the issue on The Early Edition radio program. You can listen to the broadcast here.
Images of Brentwood Bay's Derelict Boat Problem
This is a ferro-cement boat that was abandoned in the bay about six years ago. SIPS reported it as “dilapidated” and “abandoned” under definitions used in the Wrecked, Abandoned and Hazardous Vessels Act of 2019. Both Transport Canada and Coast Guard responded that it did not meet either criterion under the Act. Eventually last year it was removed by Transport Canada. We presume the removal was justified as it was not only abandoned but also dilapidated and hazardous. This is the ONLY boat removed under the Act from Brentwood Bay while it was still afloat. Others have been removed but only AFTER sinking!
The black hulled vessel is Transport Canada and the white ferro-cement boat is Airborne II. This was the day it was removed.
The Anywhere is a two masted sailboat used as a live-aboard. Yes the boat was named Anywhere. SIPS has not reported any boats used as a live-aboard under terms of WAHVA. This is because no matter what the situation of the vessel the government will take no action if it is used as a home. This is not mentioned in WAHVA but is policy. Anywhere sank about two years ago leaving the owner homeless. This photo shows the Coast Guard attending it having placed a boom around it. Anywhere was tied up to the white sail boat to prevent it from sinking. The brown masts are part of Anywhere. It was raised privately and eventually re fitted and is now back in the bay.
The Huntress is an old fish boat that is used intermittently as a live aboard. It appeared in Brentwood Bay two years ago and almost immediately began to sink. Coast Guard arrived with pumps and saved it from sinking. The sail boat tied up to it had been abandoned some time before but the fellow on the Huntress thought he could salvage it. It too began taking on water and could not be saved. It sank in relatively deep water off a small island in the bay and is still there now.
As the sail boat tied up to Huntress was sinking with the Coast Guard in attendance.