A "pirate ship" that has been a popular attraction in the harbour at Nelson, B.C., is still getting lots of attention – although it's now sitting at the bottom of Kootenay Lake.

The ship was built virtually from scratch by Nelson resident Gary Ramsbottom and had become one of the most photographed sites in the city.

But sometime over the weekend, the ship inexplicably sank in shallow water and remains mostly visible.

"My heart sort of sank for a few moments and then I thought, ‘We'll fix that," Ramsbottom said.

He said the whole project started five years ago when he spotted a weathered wooden hull for sale by the side of the road.

"About a week later I sat bolt upright in bed and said, ‘Pirate ship.’"

Ramsbottom bought the hull and started building his ship out of discarded material.

"It's all made from recycled wood, old pieces of furniture, like spindles, which is perfect for that era."

Nelson, B.C.

When the upper deck was done it looked like something out of a Disney movie and stood out starkly on Kootenay Lake.

"It's the most fun art project I've ever done. Kids especially really love it. Tourists flock down to take pictures of it."

Ramsbottom is determined to refloat the vessel and says the sailing community in Nelson has offered all kinds of help with pumps and boats.

With files from the CBC's Bob Keating