News

Third derelict barge sinks off Chemainus Tuesday.

Just one of five derelict barges remains off Chemainus after a third sunk Tuesday. Another was towed by the feds to Ladysmith
Just one of five derelict barges remains off Chemainus after a third sunk Tuesday. Another was towed by the feds to Ladysmith's Slag Point while Ottawa talks about derelict-boat laws.
— image credit: Peter W. Rusland file

Four down, one barge to go.

North Cowichan Mayor Jon Lefebure says one barge, in deep water near Chemainus harbour, is still afloat after a third barge sunk Tuesday.

It joined two others on the bottom.

Lefebure reckoned the sole barge left will probably sink once filled with rainwater.

"We're not hopeful it'll survive any type of rain because it's open on the top. It'll likely sink."

Those three sunken barges aren't navigational or environmental hazards, and could become dive reefs.

None of the five original barges contain any fuel or oil. Creosote on the structures' wood is old enough that it's not an eco-risk, the mayor added.

Another of the five Second World War-era barges was towed, by the federal Department of Transport, to Ladysmith's Slag Point.

Initially, North Cowichan council asked DOT to get Environment Canada's OK to tow the barges to deeper water, away from the harbour area.

Council's request tanked.

"That was one federal department dealing with another and Transport couldn't get approval, so they're sinking in much shallower waters, which is a mistake," said Lefebure of the sunken barges sitting about 35 feet under, at low tide.

Still, council's happy with action taken by B.C.'s environment ministry to soften impact of the barges left derelict after the Chemainus Quay and Marina project foundered several years ago.

"The ministry's been really helpful. They moved barges in their provincial water lease so they were deep enough not to be harmful."

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Dateline Cowichan: Workers protest mill’s move to Mesachie
 
Passenger rail back on track
 
Bank shears off in a flow of mud
Win a Kobo
 
The Week - March 10
 
Inquiry slams door in face of First Nations groups
ELECTION 2014: B.C. towns compete to raise civic election voter participation
 
Big support
 
Cumberland revisiting its official community plan

Community Events, October 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Oct 24 edition online now. Browse the archives.