British Columbia

Long cleanup expected as crews work to fix Horseshoe Bay marina

The Sewell's Marina in Horseshoe Bay is littered with debris and is being monitored for pollution. Some residents are calling the damage catastrophic.

Sewell's Marina in West Vancouver was damaged during a wind storm on Saturday

A barge in the Sewell's Marina in Horseshoe Bay capsized due to a windstorm along B.C. South Coast. (Jon Hernandez/CBC)

Crews are busy cleaning up in West Vancouver, B.C., after severe winds tore through a marina on Saturday and sunk a barge.

The Sewell's Marina in Horseshoe Bay is littered with debris and is being monitored for pollution. Some residents are calling the damage catastrophic.

"I feel really bad for the other boat owners," said Axel Menzler, one of the lucky few whose fishing boat was still in one piece after frigid winds ripped through the marina. 

The same can't be said for his neighbours, so he's doing his best to help out. On Sunday afternoon he helped to try and secure the boats of neighbours who were away or who live elsewhere in winter.

On Saturday, winds blew up to 90 km/h across the Howe Sound. Large waves crashed into Sewell's Marina, sinking an entire barge. Equipment and heavy machinery, including a forklift, tumbled into the water.

A Sewell's Marina barge capsized due to high winds causing several rental boats, used oil and fuel drums to go into the water. 0:29

Boats were torn from docks. Some sunk, others washed ashore.

Rob Frost, with Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue, called the situation on Saturday "chaotic."

Temporary barge

On Sunday the Coast Guard brought in a barge to temporarily replace a sunken breakwater, which sheltered the marina from more waves.

Workers and volunteers recovered damaged boats and secured large shipping containers floating in the bay.

"I walked a little bit around, by the boats, trying to get as much plastic out of the ocean as possible so it's not going to penetrate the rest of the bio environment," Menzel said.  

Crews also pulled out sunken fuel containers.  West Vancouver Mayor Mary-Ann Booth said the surrounding area is being monitored for pollution.

"Obviously, we have to be looking at how we can adapt to this in the future and what needs to be put in place to ensure the safety of the community and the property here," Booth said.

The full extent of the damage is still unclear, but most agree it's in the millions of dollars.

With files from Jon Hernandez


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.