A derelict boat that got away while being towed in a storm Dec. 27 continues to languish in the intertidal zone at the mouth of Willow Creek. There are no legal requirements to have the boat removed.

Derelict boat to become permanent Campbell River shoreline feature

Nobody responsible for removal of boat that ran aground; not owner, not Fisheries

A derelict boat that ran aground south of Campbell River during a storm last week may be there for some time, as it appears no one is responsible for cleaning it up.

It has been determined that the boat is not an environmental, fisheries or navigation hazard, which sits below the high tide line, and whose owner is likely not interested in salvaging it.

“It falls between the cracks,” said Phillip Hawkins, the Officer in Charge at the Campbell River Coast Guard Station. “The long and the short of it is, there it sits.

“It’s easy to say ‘get rid of it,’ but how do you get rid of it?”

The wooden shell of the derelict live-aboard had to be cut loose from a tow due to  rough weather conditions last Tuesday night, and ran aground in Willow Point.

Fortunately, he said, the new owner had pumped the fuel tanks, drained the engine’s sump and “removed all deleterious substances,” before the tow.

The Coast Guard environmental response team has determined that there is no hydro carbon pollution risk from the boat.

“If that boat had oil on it of any significant amount it would be our responsibility,” Hawkins said. But since it doesn’t, “we are not responsible or interested.”

Hawkins added that Fisheries and Oceans has inspected the site and determined the boat is not a hazard to the fish bearing Willow Creek. In addition, it sits below the high tide, meaning it is not on anyone’s property, and where it sits poses no navigation hazards.

Hawkins said the owner has purchased it for a minimal price and was likely not interested in an expensive salvage project.