The French Creek Base of the Coast Guard was called in to the Beachcomber Marina in Nanoose Bay on Sunday, Jan. 12 for a severe windstorm. Crews returned on Monday to help clean up the damage done to the marina and boats. (Emily Vance photo)

‘It was mayhem’: Storm causes huge damage at Vancouver Island marina

Boat crashes ashore, 150 feet of breakwater crumbles at the Beachcomber Marina in Nanoose Bay

Boat owners were struggling Monday morning, dealing with damage to their vessels at the Beachcomber Marina in Nanoose Bay after a severe windstorm, combined with high tides, shook the east coast of Vancouver Island on Sunday.

One boat crashed onto a nearby shore after being blown off its moorings, while multiple others moored in the marina are punctured, scraped and battered. People were turning up in the middle of the night to try and secure their boats.

The marina itself also sustained serious damage from the elements. Approximately 150 feet of the breakwater has been knocked down by massive waves caused by the winds. Residents say once the breakwater started to fall, the waves began to batter the marinas outer docks.

Some of the docks themselves have come apart, while other sit half-sunken in the water.

Beachcomber resident Marijke Oudshoorn says she’s never seen anything like it in her 14 years living in the area.

“My God, the wind was so wild,” said Oudshoorn. “How do you describe that?

“It was howling in here, it was howling so hard. You could hear it in the house.”

READ MORE: Power restored to 12,000 homes and businesses across Parksville Qualicum Beach

Oudshoorn heard from a neighbour who lives just above where the boat crashed onto the rocks. The crash happened around 7 p.m. on Sunday night.

Morgan Chisholm with the Canadian Coast Guard’s French Creek Base says that unusual northwesterly gale force storm winds were the cause of the wreckage at the Nanoose Bay harbour.

The Coast Guard was called in Sunday night to secure boats that were in danger of pulling off the docks, and ensure that nobody was injured.

“We showed up last night and tried to assist. It was dangerous even getting on these docks. … You can see, it was mayhem down here last night. Luckily no one was hurt, that’s the most important part,” said Chisholm.

Coast Guard crews returned Monday (Jan. 13) with a spill response team to minimize the impact of the damage.

“Now it’s just a matter of cleaning up. We came down here this morning, to make sure there was no pollution. The pollution is very very minimal, so that’s good news.”

Beachcomber’s strata manager Chris Rose says that before the sun went down, waves were blowing over the breakwater.

READ MORE: BC Ferries seeing serious delays after high winds

“Everything was up. When the waves were coming in, the splashes were coming over the top of the breakwater. Everything was moving. One of them – there’s a sailboat down there where its mainsail had come unfurled a little bit, and it was flapping to beat the band,” said Rose.

“They were re-lining, or putting in lines on some of the bigger boats to try and keep them in. One of them had pulled its cleats right from the dock … and then away it went. I think we’re lucky we only lost one,” said Rose.

Local boat owner Guy Gauvin says he’s working on replacing all his mooring lines and three or four fenders he lost in the storm. His boat also broke its stern line and stern mooring line, and the bow hit a piling. He says he’ll be checking his boat more often after this.

“You tend to assume after you’ve been here a few years that everything is fine. But when a wind like yesterday perks up, it’s time to come and check everything,” said Gauvin.

emily.vance@pqbnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

A boat came unmoored on Sunday, Jan. 12 at the Beachcomber Marina in Nanoose Bay and crashed on the rocks of a nearby shore. Coast Guard members say the boat’s owner has been notified. (Emily Vance photo)

Approximately 150 feet of the breakwater at the Beachcomber Marina in Nanoose Bay has crumbled after gale-force northwesterly winds combined with a high tide battered the rocks on Sunday, Jan. 12. (Emily Vance photo)

Just Posted

Saanich’s Shelbourne corridor work set to start despite pandemic

Municipal work is deemed an essential service, keeping the long-term project on track

Report looks at COVID-19’s impact on violence in the family

Police across Canada reported almost 100,000 cases of intimate partner violence in 2018

Greater Victoria woman creates ‘call list’ for seniors to tackle loneliness

Call list allows seniors to have some friendly conversation during isolating times

COVID-19: Saanich company joins nation-wide effort to produce 30,000 ventilators

StarFish Medical using a ‘purpose-driven design for rapid manufacturing,’ CEO says

Royal Athletic Park will not be a shelter site during COVID-19 crisis: Victoria mayor

Indoor sites to be coordinated with Island Health, BC Housing

UPDATE: Canadians awake to extra COVID-19 emergency benefit money, feds clarify changes

The CRA and federal officials are working to clarify the confusion around payments

COVID-19 world update: 6.6 million U.S. jobless claims; alcohol sales banned in Bangkok

Comprehensive digest of coronavirus news items from around the world

B.C. sorting medical equipment sales, donation offers for COVID-19

Supply hub has call out for masks, gowns, coronavirus swabs

B.C. records five more deaths due to COVID-19, 45 new cases

A total of 838 people have recovered from the virus

Major crimes investigating sudden death of North Okanagan child

The 8 year old was flown to Kelowna General Hospital and died hours later

Easter Bunny added to B.C.’s list of essential workers

Premier John Horgan authorizes bunny to spread “eggs-ellent cheer” throughout province

Travellers returning to B.C. must have self-isolation plan or face quarantine: Horgan

Premier John Horgan says forms must be filled out by travellers

More than 400 animals have been adopted amid pandemic: B.C. SPCA

People are taking this time of social distancing to find a loyal companion through the animal welfare group

VIDEO: More than 85 people displaced by Campbell River apartment fire

Traffic is being diverted around Dogwood Street and 9th Avenue

Most Read