Saanich orders boats removed from Cadboro Bay

Disposing of washed-up vessels expected to cost district $15,000

The Pacific Sun King has sat along the shore at Gyro Beach on Cadboro Bay since running aground during a storm on Dec. 5.

The remaining hull of the Pacific Sun King that washed up square in the middle of the beach at Gyro Park will be soon removed.

Since Dec. 5 the Sun King and a yellow sailboat have sat on the Saanich shoreline of Cadboro Bay, with the concrete-hulled Sun King stirring a lot of debate about who is ultimately responsible for washed-up boats.

The estimated cost of removal is $12,700 plus GST, which council approved on Monday. An additional $1,700 is expected to cover disposal fees at Hartland.

“It’s a jurisdictional nightmare, but the buck has to stop, so it stops here,” said Mayor Richard Atwell. “But we shouldn’t be dealing with every washed-up boat at council on a boat-by-boat basis.”

Saanich had contacted the Coast Guard in an attempt to share the duty of cleanup only to be told no.

“One of the Coast Guard’s issues is they’re [too] underfunded to deal with these,” said Coun. Judy Brownoff. “Gone are the days when the Coast Guard can deal with abandoned boats.”

The owner of the Pacific Sun King, Cyril Manuel, stated from the beginning that it was unlikely he’d have the funds to recover the boat. Manuel was in the process of bringing the boat into the Oak Bay end of Cadboro Bay when a storm pushed him to shore. He had previously lived on it for six years near Esquimalt harbour.

He’s since stripped it clean, and was obliging in helping the Coast Guard seal a minor fuel leak and also remove a secondary fuel tank. At this point what’s left of the Sun King has sunk so deep into the sand it will have to be dug out.

The owner of the yellow sailboat farther down the beach has not been contacted but is believed to have walked away from any responsibility at this point.

CAO Paul Thorkelsson suggested in a report Monday that Saanich consider a $50,000  payment in the upcoming budget to prepare for such a calamity, knowing it will likely happen again.

But Saanich council spoke against the idea of such a budget item.

“We do need to be strong,” Brownoff said. “I don’t want people who take possession of vessels because they’re cheap accommodation, to be able to let them drift into Saanich. I’m a taxpayer, you’re a taxpayer, we cannot afford it.”

Coun. Colin Plant said he’s afraid a budget item for abandoned boats could send a message that tells people “our waters are open for them to dump their boats in, whether it’s a one-dollar or million-dollar boat.”

A Dec. 17 letter by former CAO Andy Laidlaw went unanswered by the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources, while the Coast Guard responded but only to say they were unable to participate due to budget constraints.

In 2015, Saanich removed two wrecked vessels for a cost of approximately $25,000, work that had not been contemplated in the 2015 budget, Thorkelsson noted.


Brownoff hopes that a joint movement from the Association of Vancouver Island Coastal Communities to create a program that deals with derelict and wrecked vessels will move to the Union of B.C. Municipalities and Federation of Canadian Municipalities.



Just Posted

Victoria resident catches, cleans pigeon feet to help fight stringfoot

Hair, string tangled around birds’ feet can cut off circulation to toes and whole feet

Cyclists rejoice as the Christmas Lights Parade returns

Family-friendly 10km ride visits big Christmas displays, Dec. 21

Victoria residents advocate for funding for neighbourhoods without community centres

North Park Neighbourhood Association hopes to see $75,000 to bolster nearby staff

VIDEO: These are the top toys this Christmas, B.C. toy experts say

Consider the play value of a game, staff at Toy Traders say

Prince George RCMP use bait packages to catch porch pirates over the holidays

First-in-Canada program with Amazon looks to combat parcel theft

Nanaimo mechanical engineer creates thief tracking program

Nanaimo Thief Tracking lets users plot and share information about thefts online

Mayor wants B.C. to institutionalize severely mental ill people who are homeless

Those suffering from mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia, need specialized care, mayor says

Five things of note from Trudeau’s mandate letters to his ministers

Some marching orders come from the Liberal Party’s campaign, while others are new additions

Scheer’s resignation tips party into internal war over school tuition payments

The Conservatives have a Toronto convention already scheduled for April

POLL: Do you have a real or artificial Christmas tree?

The lights are up, holiday shoppers are bustling through the streets and… Continue reading

Navigating ‘fever phobia’: B.C. doctor gives tips on when a sick kid should get to the ER

Any temperature above 38 C is considered a fever, but not all cases warrant a trip to the hospital

Transportation Safety Board finishes work at B.C. plane crash site, investigation continues

Transport Canada provides information bulletin, family of victim releases statement

Most Read