British Columbia

Rusty abandoned ship in Fraser River near Surrey, B.C., will be removed: DFO

Work has begun on the removal of an abandoned vessel near Surrey, B.C., that has been an eyesore on the Fraser River for over five years.

The ship has been an eyesore on the Fraser River for more than 5 years

The MV Spudnik is shown in the Fraser River near Surrey, B.C., in a handout photo. Work has begun on the removal of the abandoned vessel, which poses a pollution risk. (The Canadian Press/HO-Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Pacific Region)

Work has begun on the removal of an abandoned vessel near Surrey, B.C., that has been an eyesore on the Fraser River for over five years.

Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan announced that an assessment of the MV Spudnik shows there's an imminent risk of pollution, hull corrosion, sinking and fire.

The department says in a news release that the Canadian Coast Guard has begun work with contractor Marine Recycling Corporation to assess various options to safely dismantle and remove the former fishing vessel from the water.

The 75-year-old ship has been moored at the same location on the Fraser River since 2014 and bulk pollutants were removed at that time.

The coast guard says in a statement that the owner hasn't responded to any of its requests, so it is taking action to permanently resolve the threat posed by the vessel before there is any long-term damage.

The abandoned ship has been an eyesore for years. (Canadian Coast Guard/Twitter)

It says the current estimated cost for the work is about $3.3 million.

Jordan says such vessels can pose serious problems for coastal communities and she's confident the coast guard's work with the contractor can address the threat of pollution.

In Canada, the owner of a vessel is expected to cover costs of environmental response. If those costs cannot be recovered from an identified owner, a claim is submitted to the Ship-source Oil Pollution Fund.

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