British Columbia

Heavy vessel swept ashore in B.C. bay during windstorm defies removal efforts

Residents of the Victoria-area community of Cadboro Bay are dealing with a very large reminder of December’s windstorm.

Boat is attracting vandals, thieves and children playing unsafely in wreck, says resident

A ferrocement-hulled boat was washed up on the shores of Cadboro Bay, B.C. after December's powerful windstorm. Ferrocement boats are said to be durable but very heavy compared to wooden or aluminum-hulled boats. (Jean Paetkau/CBC)

Residents of the Victoria-area community of Cadboro Bay are dealing with a very large reminder of December's windstorm and they would like it to ship off.

A ferrocement-hulled sailboat that washed up on the shore of the community the morning of Dec. 21, 2018 has so far been impervious to several attempts to get it off the beach.

The heavy vessel, according to Eric Dahli of the Cadboro Bay Residents Association, has a large hole in its hull and was too heavy to be towed away by another ship.

It's now attracting children who are playing unsafely on the hulk, he said, as well as vandals and thieves. Dahli has been told the ship is in too awkward a location to be hoisted out by crane so it looks like it might be beached for some time.

"If it wasn't for bad luck, [the owner] would have none at all," Dahli told All Points West host Robyn Burns.

While December's windstorm was extremely powerful, Cadboro Bay has struggled with derelict boats washing up on its shoreline in the past.

However, Dahli said increasing awareness of the difficulty anchoring in the bay, which he said is prone to strong southeasterly winds, has meant fewer boaters are mooring there.

"It's a very shallow bay and it's a sandy bottom so a boater would have to put out hundreds of yards of of cable and rope," he said.

"It takes a real expert to anchor a boat in Cadboro Bay in the wintertime. Most people won't do it."

Dahli said the next expected action for removing the boat involves digging it out a bit, patching its hull and then pulling it out with a tugboat.

In a statement, the Canadian Coast Guard said the boat beached in Cadboro Bay was one of more than 75 vessels and structures reported to be drifting, sunk or beached in the South Coast area because of the Dec. 20 storm.

The Coast Guard, which has been securing the damaged vessels in order of priority, said the boat in Cadboro Bay had been assessed and deemed a low risk to pollute.

Listen to the full interview:

With files from CBC Radio One's All Points West

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