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Owner of stranded barge in Vancouver's English Bay plans to remove it in pieces

Wayward barge gets rave reviews

The next chapter in the saga of the English Bay barge could begin in the next month or so, the vessel's owner says.

Sentry Marine Towing, Ltd., owns the barge that has been stranded on Sunset Beach since it came unmoored in mid-November.

On Sunday, the company's owner told CTV News the latest plan for removing the barge from the beach is to cut it into pieces and remove it by crane.

That effort would be "quite a large undertaking," and could take weeks once it gets started, the company said. Currently, the company is awaiting approval of its plan from various regulatory bodies, but the owner said he's hopeful those approvals will be in place and removal can begin "in the next month or so."

CTV News has reached out to the City of Vancouver and Transport Canada for more information on their respective roles in the removal plan.

A city spokesperson directed CTV to Vancouver Pile Driving Ltd. (VanPile), the company that has been contracted to complete the removal plan.

The company said the planning process is still underway, but that preparation included a marine habitant assessment, permitting from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada and structural assessments of the barge itself.

The first steps will be installing fencing and signs, then the actual removal will take between 12 and 15 weeks, VanPile estimated.

In the two-and-a-half months since it washed up on the beach, the barge has become a part of Vancouver lore. It's been the subject of parody social media accounts and tongue-in-cheek tourist reviews. It's become a backdrop for wedding proposals and a flashpoint for protests about colonialism and reconciliation.

It's also been a stark and ever-present reminder of the impact of climate change, coming unmoored as it did in the midst of a historically large storm that wreaked havoc on much of southwestern B.C.

Sentry Marine attempted to use a tugboat to remove the barge the day after it got stuck, but the stranded vessel wouldn't budge

Asked why removing the barge in one piece was no longer the preferred option, the company told CTV News the costs of each option - removing it whole or in pieces - are similar, and removing the vessel in pieces is less risky than removing it whole.

Attempting to tow the barge away could cause it to sink, the owner explained. Top Stories

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