The French Creek Base of the Coast Guard was called in to the Beachcomber Marina in Nanoose Bay on Sunday, Jan. 12 for a severe windstorm. Crews returned on Monday to help clean up the damage done to the marina and boats. (Emily Vance photo)

‘It was mayhem’: Storm causes huge damage at Vancouver Island marina

Boat crashes ashore, 150 feet of breakwater crumbles at the Beachcomber Marina in Nanoose Bay

Boat owners were struggling Monday morning, dealing with damage to their vessels at the Beachcomber Marina in Nanoose Bay after a severe windstorm, combined with high tides, shook the east coast of Vancouver Island on Sunday.

One boat crashed onto a nearby shore after being blown off its moorings, while multiple others moored in the marina are punctured, scraped and battered. People were turning up in the middle of the night to try and secure their boats.

The marina itself also sustained serious damage from the elements. Approximately 150 feet of the breakwater has been knocked down by massive waves caused by the winds. Residents say once the breakwater started to fall, the waves began to batter the marinas outer docks.

Some of the docks themselves have come apart, while other sit half-sunken in the water.

Beachcomber resident Marijke Oudshoorn says she’s never seen anything like it in her 14 years living in the area.

“My God, the wind was so wild,” said Oudshoorn. “How do you describe that?

“It was howling in here, it was howling so hard. You could hear it in the house.”

READ MORE: Power restored to 12,000 homes and businesses across Parksville Qualicum Beach

Oudshoorn heard from a neighbour who lives just above where the boat crashed onto the rocks. The crash happened around 7 p.m. on Sunday night.

Morgan Chisholm with the Canadian Coast Guard’s French Creek Base says that unusual northwesterly gale force storm winds were the cause of the wreckage at the Nanoose Bay harbour.

The Coast Guard was called in Sunday night to secure boats that were in danger of pulling off the docks, and ensure that nobody was injured.

“We showed up last night and tried to assist. It was dangerous even getting on these docks. … You can see, it was mayhem down here last night. Luckily no one was hurt, that’s the most important part,” said Chisholm.

Coast Guard crews returned Monday (Jan. 13) with a spill response team to minimize the impact of the damage.

“Now it’s just a matter of cleaning up. We came down here this morning, to make sure there was no pollution. The pollution is very very minimal, so that’s good news.”

Beachcomber’s strata manager Chris Rose says that before the sun went down, waves were blowing over the breakwater.

READ MORE: BC Ferries seeing serious delays after high winds

“Everything was up. When the waves were coming in, the splashes were coming over the top of the breakwater. Everything was moving. One of them – there’s a sailboat down there where its mainsail had come unfurled a little bit, and it was flapping to beat the band,” said Rose.

“They were re-lining, or putting in lines on some of the bigger boats to try and keep them in. One of them had pulled its cleats right from the dock … and then away it went. I think we’re lucky we only lost one,” said Rose.

Local boat owner Guy Gauvin says he’s working on replacing all his mooring lines and three or four fenders he lost in the storm. His boat also broke its stern line and stern mooring line, and the bow hit a piling. He says he’ll be checking his boat more often after this.

“You tend to assume after you’ve been here a few years that everything is fine. But when a wind like yesterday perks up, it’s time to come and check everything,” said Gauvin.

emily.vance@pqbnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

A boat came unmoored on Sunday, Jan. 12 at the Beachcomber Marina in Nanoose Bay and crashed on the rocks of a nearby shore. Coast Guard members say the boat’s owner has been notified. (Emily Vance photo)

Approximately 150 feet of the breakwater at the Beachcomber Marina in Nanoose Bay has crumbled after gale-force northwesterly winds combined with a high tide battered the rocks on Sunday, Jan. 12. (Emily Vance photo)

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Campbell Riverite advancing to quarter-finals of Maxim Cover Girl Contest

‘Now it’s do or die time,’ said local model and DJ Kristy Watkins

Defenceman re-signs with Campbell River Storm

Grady Franklin of Deloraine, Man. ready to return to Campbell River

Two injured hikers airlifted from North Vancouver Island Park

Campbell River and Comox Search and Rescue hoist team rescued the injured from Cape Scott Provincial Park

B.C. village’s local government sees four mayoral changes within three months

Resignations and appointments happened in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic

Indigenous B.C. tour operator keeps culture alive through virtual journeys in COVID-19 era

Campbell River based Homalco Tours is also in the process of setting up live cameras for bear viewing in Orford

QUIZ: A celebration of dogs

These are the dog days of summer. How much do you know about dogs?

First glimpse of Canada’s true COVID-19 infection rate expected mid-July

At least 105,000 Canadians have tested positive for COVID-19 since the coronavirus was identified

Mirror business directory and map

If you’d like to be added to the list, shoot us an email

Annual music event in Comox Valley celebrates online instead

Vancouver Island MusicFest holds virtual celebration set for July 10

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Most Read