Vancouver sailor blames city for Kits Beach wreckage
The owner of one of four Vancouver sailboats that were blown ashore during a windstorm on Thursday morning is blaming city authorities for putting his life at risk.
Brad Carter said he and several other people who were living aboard their boats were evicted from the protected waters of False Creek last week.
Carter said they asked for extensions to remain in the inland waterway because of the rough weather in the forecast, but their request was turned down.
So they dropped anchor off Kitsilano Beach, only to be slammed by a windstorm early Thursday morning.
Carter said he was sleeping aboard his wooden sailboat, Gini 2, when was awoken by the storm at 4 a.m. PT. The storm toppled trees and downed power line along the entire South Coast, as gusts hit 90 kilometres per hour.
Carter soon lost his outboard motors and his anchor line snapped, and he was forced to leap from his boat as it crashed into the rocks of Kits Point, just after sunrise.
"I've lost everything I have," said Carter.
Law restricts live-aboards
In 2006 Vancouver passed a bylaw banning boats from dropping anchor for longer than two weeks in False Creek, in order to clear out a large number of live-aboard boats clogging the waterway in the heart of Vancouver.
But Carter said those policies should be eased when bad weather is likely to hit boats anchored in the more exposed waters of English Bay.
"We shouldn't be out here when there is safe harbour in False Creek," Carter said.
But Kitsilano resident Dave Harris questioned whether it was the authorities who were to blame, as he surveyed the wreakage on the beach.
"Over the last few months I've been watching these boats mooring out here, and they usually don't look to be in the best quality. They have rotten bow sprits, like the fellow down at the end, where it just pulls apart in any high wind," said Harris.