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Tugboat unable to remove barge from downtown Vancouver shoreline

Vancouver -

A tugboat brought in to remove a barge from the rocks of a downtown Vancouver beach wasn’t quite strong enough to do the job.

The large vessel became unmoored during Monday’s storm and ran aground near Sunset Beach. By early evening there were fears it could come loose again and float into the Burrard Street Bridge, causing city officials to close the busy crossing to traffic from 7 p.m. Monday until 8 a.m. Tuesday.

The City of Vancouver later said on Twitter there were plans to tow the barge on Tuesday afternoon with the high tide, expected around 3:30 p.m. An engineer with the city told CTV News he estimated up to six tugs would be required to pull the barge off the rocks.

The Coast Guard told CTV News the barge owner, who has not been publicly identified, is responsible for securing it and towing it away. Crews made several attempts to pull the barge off the rocks Tuesday afternoon, but it wouldn’t budge. As of Tuesday evening, the barge remained on the rocks.

CTV News has reached out to the Coast Guard for information about what happens next, with the next high tide during daylight hours happening at 3:26 p.m. Wednesday.

It's unclear how the barge ended up drifting out of control in a high-traffic body of water.

There doesn't appear to be any risk of pollution on the barge, which was previously carrying wood chips, according to the Coast Guard.

"It has been confirmed that there are no hydrocarbons on board," a spokesperson said in an email. Top Stories

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