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Derelict boat removed

An excavator scrapes up the remains of a derelict fishing boat Wednesday that had washed ashore in the mouth of Willow Creek Dec. 27. - Alistair Taylor/The Mirror
An excavator scrapes up the remains of a derelict fishing boat Wednesday that had washed ashore in the mouth of Willow Creek Dec. 27.
— image credit: Alistair Taylor/The Mirror

The derelict boat is gone.

"We decided to get on with it and move it," said Mike Gage of the Campbell River Salmon Foundation (CRSF).

On Dec. 27, a derelict boat being towed to Cortes Island broke free and washed ashore in the mouth of Willow Creek. A subsequent washing of hands from official agencies like the Coast Guard, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the City of Campbell River meant the boat was going to be left there to break apart on the beach in the mouth of a potential salmon creek.

But on Wednesday, Mike Gage and the Campbell River Salmon Foundation secured permission to from Fisheries to go in and remove the boat with an excavator.

"We weren't going to leave it there," Gage said. "It was right in the estuary."

The CRSF took the cost of the operation on themselves and will try to recoup it from their fundraising efforts.

gage said it would cost "under $2,000" to clean up the boat. The services of A. Wood Bulldozing were secured to remove the boat.

Gage cleared the operation with Fisheries who said go ahead as long as it doesn't do any environmental damage. The City of Campbell River then gave CRSF permission to run a backhoe on the breakwater beside Ken Forde Park.

"I think the estuary will look better without it," Gage said.

Gage said the presence of the boat on the beach wasn't send the right message about Campbell River. If this boat was allowed to be left to fall apart there, then there'd be boats littering the beaches up and down Vancouver Island, gage said.

The CRSF's mandate is to help streamkeeping projects from the mouth of the Oyster River north to the estuary of the Salmon River in Sayward.

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