Boat washes up in Cadboro Bay

Owner takes exception to boat being called derelict, saying it's his home

Cyril Manuel with his Pacific Sun King boat that washed up in Cadboro Bay during the early hours of the 90 km/h windstorm on Dec. 5. Manuel is upset the boat is being referred to as derelict. “It’s my home

Cyril Manuel with his Pacific Sun King boat that washed up in Cadboro Bay during the early hours of the 90 km/h windstorm on Dec. 5. Manuel is upset the boat is being referred to as derelict. “It’s my home

The owner of the 55-foot boat that washed ashore in the middle of Cadboro Bay beach early on Dec. 5 is offended the District of Saanich and media have referred to it as derelict.

Cyril Manuel was living on the vessel, the Pacific Sun King, for six years until last Friday’s violent storm forced the 40-tonne boat to drag anchor from a spot midpoint in the bay. Prior to last week, Manuel lived in Esquimalt waters near the navy base.

“I just paid $600 to get towed here, it took me two attempts,” said Manuel, who was at the boat salvaging tools and personal belongings Monday night. “I take offence to the term ‘derelict,’ I’ve been a boater for 15 years.”

Manuel was there with his girlfriend long past nightfall Monday as they took advantage of low tide. He interacted with sympathetic beachgoers and also posted a sign on shore asking for patience and understanding from local residents and beach visitors while he tried to recover from the situation.

“Esquimalt was squeezing me out,” Manuel said. “I was threatened by the harbourmaster, the RCMP was going to visit me. So I wasted all my money getting here and now I’m broke.”

Manuel said he is willing to do anything he can to recover the boat, and is considering giving it away.

“Take it, use it, or if anyone can help me recover it, please.”

His arrival on shore is an intense story that includes a daring escape from the Pacific Sun King. Manuel said the waves were so big, it took five minutes to get into the skiff. He then “literally surfed” the skiff to shore, with his girlfriend aboard, guiding it with a paddle through a series of huge waves.

“People try to make it look like I’m the bad one, like live-aboards are the bad ones, but I’m the one who lost a home here,” Manuel said.

Manuel said he was lucky to survive as he and his girlfriend endured the hours-long storm with waves higher than the boat. Manuel described rollers that reminded him of the Perfect Storm, but had faith his ship, built of concrete and rebar, would endure.

“As a live-aboard anchor boater, it’s not that I was planning to leave my boat and run off. Now I’m left with no home, I’m left feeling like I’m some outcast,” he said. “I’m hearing that I’ve done terrible things to the environment, and I appreciate that. I’m a skim boarder, I should be skim boarding right now. I love the coast, I don’t want this to happen.”

Manuel said he’s put $40,000 into the boat over the past six years, outfitting it with a durable sheet metal roof. It also has a generator and a wood stove, common features for the local anchor boater community.

“I gambled and I lost,” Manuel said.

As of Monday, Saanich workers staked the beach area around the boat with ribbon. Another boat, a sailboat about 20 feet long, also washed ashore last week. It lies near Hibbins Close on the east end of Cadboro Bay.

Saanich is still assessing whether that boat is seaworthy and trying to find the owner, said outgoing Saanich CAO Andy Laidlaw.

Last month a trio of boats showed up in a similar storm. One sailboat was towed away by its owner. A second boat was towed back into the bay by Saanich and moored. The third was deemed a hazard for polluting the beach with hypodermic needles, which expedited the removal process through the federal government’s receiver of wrecks, Laidlaw said.

However, as far as the Pacific Sun King is concerned, Manuel is to be held responsible for its removal, at least for now.

“Saanich is not in a position legally to deal with the removal of the boat,” said Laidlaw.

If Manuel can’t afford to remove the boat, seaworthy or not, it will have to go through a minimum 30-day process application to the receiver of wrecks, pending his approval.

Saanich Coun. Fred Haynes says a better system is needed for dealing with grounded vessels.

“One of the problems here is it’s multi-jurisdictional – federal, provincial and municipal – and we need a way someone can adequately monitor the situation so that when a boat gets in trouble, it’s dealt with in an appropriate way,” Haynes said. “That said, there’s a romance to living on a boat, and a lifestyle, maybe it offers opportunities for people who feel it’s tough to settle in more conventional housing. The question is how suitable are they for the health of the individual.”

In the end it’s a balance of rights, Haynes added, between boaters and those homeowners who live in waterfront neighbourhoods.

For Manuel, live-aboard boating was his chance to have affordable housing.

“I consider us a community, look at all the boats [in Cadboro Bay], yet the media has formed a standpoint that we’re all derelict vessels and trouble makers,” Manuel said. “That’s not true, some of us become rough from living [this way], and having everyone hate us. I believe regardless of money or financial situation, we should all be afforded the same rights to live in this country and have affordable housing.”

 

reporter@saanichnews.com

 

 

Just Posted

The BC Ferries’ website is down for the second time in one week from what they say is likely an overwhelming increase in web traffic. (Black Press Media file photo)
Surging web traffic crashes BC Ferries’ site again

Website down for second time this week

BC Housing has brought in sanitation trailers to the former Mount Tolmie Hospital site so its current residents can access clean water, showers, sinks and toilets after a collapsed sewer pipe impacted water service to the building. (Google Streetview)
Mount Tolmie Hospital homelessness shelter using sanitation trailers after pipe collapse

Travelodge shelter residents faced intermittent hot water supply in late May, early June

Numerous Esquimalt residents can now build a detached accessory suite of up to 65 square metres in their backyard. (Township of Esquimalt)
Backyard suites now legal for some Esquimalt properties

One unit of up to 65 square metres now permitted for eligible residents

COVID-19 exposures have been reported at Colquitz Middle School and Tillicum Elementary School, both on June 14. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)
Two Saanich schools report COVID-19 exposures

Exposures reported at Colquitz Middle School and Tillicum Elementary School

An eastern cottontail rabbit on the UVic campus. (Evert Lindquist/News Staff)
Wild rabbits persist at the University of Victoria

Feral rabbits are still absent, but another non-native species has arrived on campus

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: When was the last time you visited the mainland?

The films are again lighting the screens at local theatres, the wine… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of June 15

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

John Furlong told the Vancouver Board of Trade on Feb. 20, 2020 that he thinks the city could and should bid for the 2030 Winter Games. (CP photo)
PODCAST: John Furlong lays out a ‘provincial’ B.C. plan to host the 2030 Winter Olympics

Podcast: Chat includes potential role for Vancouver Island communities

The pilot of this single-engine propeller plane was unhurt after crash-landing in a Como Road orchard Friday, June 18. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Plane crash lands into Grand Forks orchard, pilot injured

RCMP have secured the crash site, pending investigation by Transport Canada

A tenant walks in front of her home on Boundary Road on Friday, June 18, 2021 after it was destroyed by fire the night before in Chilliwack. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Family homeless after fire rips through Chilliwack house

Turtle rescued, no one seriously hurt following Boundary Road fire in Chilliwack

Wild rabbits are all over Chilliwack, but people often think they’re someone’s lost pet and try to ‘save’ them. But the owner of Chilliwack’s Reptile Room says good intentions can have bad consequences for wild animals. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Owner of Chilliwack’s Reptile Room asks people to leave wild animals in the wild

Amber Quiring says people who think they’re helping are actually doing more harm than good

Syringes prepared with Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine are seen at a vaccination site in Long Beach, Calif., Friday, March 5, 2021. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Vaccine first doses now available for walk-ins on Vancouver Island

People aged 18+ can walk in for their first COVID-19 vaccine

Photos displayed at a vigil for former Nanaimo outreach worker Amy Watts, whose body was found June 3 and whose death RCMP are investigating as a homicide. (News Bulletin photo)
‘We need to do better,’ says mother of woman killed in Nanaimo

Vigil held for former outreach worker Amy Watts, whose body was found downtown June 3

Most Read