Coast Guard monitoring 22 vessels damaged or destroyed in B.C. storm
The Canadian Coast Guard is monitoring a number of vessels on the B.C. coast that have either sunk, run aground, or are simply drifting in the ocean after the storm that brought torrential rain and damaging wind earlier this week.
The Coast Guard said it generally gets about one report per day about boats in that kind of trouble, but it received reports about 15 of the boats on Monday and seven more on Tuesday.
The most visible of the vessels that ran aground is a barge that landed on Sunset Beach after breaking loose from its mooring and drifting across English Bay.
“Coast Guard is in the process of assessing the reported vessels. Some of the factors we take into account include risk to human life, type and size of vessel, location, and how much fuel is onboard, among other factors,” it said in a statement.
Under Canadian law, boat owners are responsible for their vessels at all times and the Coast Guard said it is working with local authorities to contact those affected to advise them of their responsibilities in regards to towing, salvage and cleanup.
“In situations where a vessel is a high risk to release fuel and oil into the marine environment, we may work with our response partners to take immediate action while we search for the owner,” the agency said.
Efforts to dislodge and tow the barge stuck at Sunset Beach have been unsuccessful so far, and the Coast Guard said it will monitor another attempt being made by the barge’s owner at high tide on Sunday.