Derelict Viki Lyne II to be removed from Ladysmith Harbour
Abandoned ship has an estimated 13,000 litres of oil and solvents still on board
A derelict boat filled with thousands of litres of oil and solvents will finally be removed from Ladysmith Harbour, according to the local MP.
Sheila Malcolmson, the NDP MP for Nanaimo-Ladysmith on Vancouver Island, says she's been told by Hunter Tootoo, the minister of fisheries, oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, that the boat will be removed this summer.
The commitment came after Malcolmson handed Tootoo a letter expressing the community's concerns last week.
The Viki Lyne II has been an eyesore since it was found abandoned in 2012. It was towed into Ladysmith Harbour, where it remains to this day.
To make matters worse, the derelict ship has an estimated 13,000 litres of oil and solvents still on board.
Local officials and First Nations have been demanding its removal because it could pose an environmental hazard if it were to sink.
Long-term strategy needed
Malcolmson said the ship highlights the need for a long-term strategy to deal with abandoned and derelict vessels on the coast.
Recently a second derelict vessel, a tug boat that was threatening the shellfish industry in Baynes Sound, B.C. was also towed south to Ladysmith Harbour, raising concerns about when it would be cleaned up as well.
"The next step is a comprehensive coast-wide abandoned vessel solution so we can move beyond these boat-by-boat emergency measures," Malcolmson said in a statement released on Friday morning.
Malcolmson already has a private members' bill which aims to designate the Coast Guard as the primary responder to derelict and abandoned vessels, but it is only at the first reading stage in Parliament.
One municipal councillor in Saanich is calling for a fee on boat purchases or registrations to help clean up derelict vessels.
Counc. Judy Brownoff is proposing either the federal or provincial government collect a small levy on boat purchases or registrations that could go into a fund to help municipalities. Brownoff is basing her proposal on a system already in place in Washington state.