Laws needed to stop coast becoming junkyard

We need more laws to allow us to deal with derelict vessels. The laws we have now aren’t working.

As things stand, people are allowed to just moor their crumbling boats in our harbours and leave them there until time and the elements deal the death blow.

This is not fair to the communities and shorelines that end up having to deal with these rust buckets, sometimes for years.

Not only are they unsightly, they pose a hazard.

They have a tendency to leak all kinds of undesirable things into our waters as they disintegrate – even when oil and other fuels have been removed.

The neglect that leaves them falling apart in our waters carries over to securing them in storms and weather.

When they get loose – not to mention when they sink – they can become a serious navigation hazard.

Owners sometimes express a desire to keep the vessels, citing nebulous (and usually imaginary) future plans to rehabilitate them to some kind of future glory.

The only future they ever seem to actually see is one underwater.

Though to be fair, the Beaver, last used in 2010, had a bit more hope than some.

Essentially, though, what people are doing is hauling (sometimes these vessels are not even able to move under their own steam) their boats to a picturesque bay along the coast of Vancouver Island and abandoning them there.

Out of sight, out of mind. But they’re not out of sight of those living on the shoreline who have to put up with their ramshackle appearance mucking up the view.

It’s not the first time Cowichan Bay, in particular, has hosted one of these ships.

It seemed that no sooner did the Bay finally say farewell to the unlamented derelict MV Dominion 1, than the Beaver arrived. It is all too likely that there will be a successor to the Beaver.

That’s why derelict boat legislation is desperately needed. Our coastlines are becoming a junkyard for ships of all descriptions.

We can now only hope for the Beaver to be raised and hauled away. Cowichan Bay will not be sad to see it go.

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