Condition of washed-up boat complicates salvage operations

Crane will likely be needed to remove concrete boat from Cadboro Bay beach

The Pacific Sun King washed ashore in Cadboro Bay during a Dec. 5 storm.

Time is ticking for the beached carcass of the concrete-hulled Pacific Sun King in Cadboro Bay.

The boat washed up in a violent storm on Dec. 5, bucked to a high point on the beach by waves of a size rarely seen on Cadboro Bay.

Since then the sheet metal roof has been removed, likely for its recycling value, as well as a plastic fuel tank and most of the owner’s personal items.

The Coast Guard sealed a second fuel tank on the boat, limiting the seepage of diesel which had temporarily closed the beach Dec. 13.

Though the owner has removed much of his belongings it’s believed the removal of the roof has led to the additional wash-up of other materials on the beach.

A stormy fall has led to Saanich parks crews spending additional time cleaning up debris. Saanich has placed a container on the beach to collect debris.

“We appreciate resident/volunteers in the area helping out, trying to clean up debris that’s washed ashore,” said Harley Machielse, Saanich director of engineering.

A significant crack in the hull of the Sun King means the ship is no longer seaworthy. And with the owner already declaring to Saanich he is without the means to recover the boat, the responsibility for its salvage is now drifting towards Saanich.

Tim Johnston is the owner operator of C-Tow Victoria marine assistance, the company that pulls beached vessels back into the water along the South Island.

At last count, Johnston said 15 boats have come ashore this year, compared to five last year.

All indications are that the 40-tonne Sun King will remain at the centre of Caddy Bay beach for a while yet.

“In the past there were boats that sat on the beach for two years, three years ago, such as two sailboats and a the barge [burnt houseboat],” Johnston said.

C-Tow teamed with Saanich in November to pull two boats off the Caddy Bay beach, a red sailboat with a broken mast and a wooden cabin cruiser responsible for littering the beach with hypodermic needles.

Retrieving some boats, such as the 20-foot sailboats which tend to come ashore most often in Caddy Bay, is as simple as towing them off the beach at high tide. Johnston believes the Pacific Sun King, however, will require a crane.

“Once a concrete boat starts breaking there’s nothing to do to patch it.”

Of the three sailboats that were ashore farther down Caddy Bay towards the Oak Bay side, one is actually sitting on the skeleton of a concrete boat that pokes just a few inches out of the sand.

“Sometimes with [beached vessels] you can’t see everything,” Johnston said.

There are surprises, such as a punctured hole. In those cases C-Tow will flip the boat so it’s leaning the other direction. It gives the owner a chance to patch the damaged side.

Canada and B.C. are without a removal system for situations such as the Pacific Sun King’s, such as Washington state’s Derelict Vessel Removal Program.

At this time there is also no formal policy for “live-aboards,” or anchor boaters, except for a push to ban the practice within 300 metres of Saanich shorelines.

It’s not fair, said Pacific Sun King owner Cyril Manuel, who points to the history of live-aboard residents in Greater Victoria.

“Look at the pictures of the Inner Harbour in the 1890s, it’s full of anchor boaters,” Manuel said. “They helped build this town, they’ve been here since the beginning. Boaters have been helpful in every way, [the local marine] is not just for tourist attractions and docks for the rich.”

 

reporter@saanichnews.com

 

 

Just Posted

UVic president offers condolences after two students killed in bus crash

‘We also grieve with those closest to these members of our campus community,’ Cassels says

Central Saanich strawberry farmer reports bumper crop

Strawberry season could last well into October

GoodLife marathon helps enrich lives, share stories

Seniors’ care one of many causes supported by GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon

Oak Bay community invited to News’ 5th annual readers tea

Oak Bay News, Carlton House host Sept. 17 afternoon tea

Colwood square dancing open house to welcome in new dancers

“It’s therapy,” said long-time square dancer Linda Townsend

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

Conservatives promise tax cut that they say will address Liberal increases

Scheer says the cut would apply to the lowest income bracket

B.C. VIEWS: Cutting wood waste produces some bleeding

Value-added industry slowly grows as big sawmills close

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Some say the high cost of logs is the major cause of the industry’s decline in B.C.

Federal food safety watchdog says batch of baby formula recalled

The agency says it’s conducting a food safety investigation

Coming Home: B.C. fire chief and disaster dog return from hurricane-ravaged Bahamas

The pair spent roughly one week on Great Abaco Island assisting in relief efforts

Newcomer Ferland lines up with sniper Pettersson as Vancouver Canucks camp opens

Ferland provides more depth and a scoring threat up front, Pettersson says

Intelligence official charged seemed to be ‘exemplar of discretion’: UBC professor

Professor Paul Evans says he served on Cameron Ortis’s doctoral dissertation committee

B.C. police watchdog to investigate man’s head injury during RCMP arrest

Suspect fled on a bicycle and fell off when an officer attempted to stop him

Most Read