‘Ship raiders’ raise garbage stink, attack Gorge Waterway boaters

Victoria cops arrest two men following bloody fight

The chaos that recently unfolded on the Gorge Waterway in Vic West was like a scene from of a Hollywood pirate flick.

Calling it reminiscent of the movie Master and Commander, Victoria police responded on Tuesday (Jan. 31) at 5:18 p.m. to reports of two armed “ship raiders” attacking two men aboard a large vessel moored in the Gorge Waterway near Banfield Park and the Selkirk Trestle.

The boaters had been celebrating when they were hailed and their vessel boarded by two men who rowed up in a small skiff.

Officers later determined the assailants were unhappy with “heaps of garbage” that had been accumulating on the vessel, Deputy Chief John Ducker wrote on the Victoria Police Department’s operations blog.

While on board, the raiders grabbed knives and made threats, Ducker wrote.

To keep the attackers at bay, one man began swinging a rope with a weight attached at one end. Police say it struck one attacker. A fist fight also broke out.

Victoria officers responding aboard police boat Mike 1 were met with a very grisly scene: blood coated the bulkheads and deck of the vessel.

A man bleeding heavily from a head wound was taken to shore where B.C. Ambulance Service paramedics waited.

Meanwhile, a suspect tried to row the small skiff unseen along the bank of the waterway but “was intercepted as he came ashore in the 100-block of Gorge Rd. East – confirming that a rowed skiff is not the most effective getaway vehicle, or vessel,” Ducker said. The suspect was arrested for assault with a weapon.

A second suspect was taken into police custody an hour later at Victoria General Hospital. He had been seeking treatment for his eye, that had been injured by the swinging weight, Ducker said.

The investigation continues.

emccracken@vicnews.com

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