Derelict ship Viki Lyne 2 threatening Ladysmith Harbour
13,000 litres of oil and solvents could spill into harbour from abandoned vessel
Residents of Ladysmith, B.C., are demanding the federal government do more to clean up a derelict ship that could spill thousands of litres of oil and solvents into the harbour if it sinks.
The 33-meter Viki Lyne 2 was abandoned near Dunsmuir Islands, a private island about a two minute boat ride from Ladysmith sometime before 2012. Transport Canada eventually towed it into Ladysmith's Harbour on the east coast of Vancouver Island where it now remains.
Since then, the coast guard has pumped 20,000 litres of oil out of the ship, but it's estimated there's still 13,000 litres of oil and solvents remaining on board in various tanks and lines.
Ladysmith's Mayor Aaron Stone has been pushing the federal government to clean up the vessel before it sinks. But he says he's received no response from Transport Minister Lisa Raitt after sending the federal department a letter.
"Here we are with a major catastrophe with no assistance," said Stone Sunday as concerned residents staged a rally to draw attention to the issue.
Among those in attendance was Norman Brook who lives on a houseboat in the harbour.
"This mess I don`t think would ever be cleaned up completely, like any other major oil slick," said Brook.
The community isn't just concerned about the Viki Lyne 2. There are other boats washed up on the harbour shoreline which the community is looking to clean up as part of an effort to transform the industrial waterfront into a public space.