Derelict boat litters beach

It’s littering, it’s garbage dumping but on a much larger scale

Re: Derelict boat to become permanent Campbell River shoreline feature – [Jan. 02, 2012 – www.campbellrivermirror.com]

To say I’m disappointed with the Coast Guard Station’s recent decision to do nothing with the derelict boat that run aground recently in Willow Point during a storm, is an understatement.  Also, the logic which was used to reach that decision boggles my mind.

It is very fortunate that it poses no environmental hazards; thankfully the owner did drain all fluids from the vessel’s fuel tanks and its engine sump.  What befuddles me is, Hawkins the Officer in Charge says, “It’s easy to say ‘get rid of it,’ but how do you get rid of it?” I think a good start would be to go after the owner and hold that person responsible for the salvage costs.  The Coast Guard obviously knows or at least has a pretty good idea who the owner is.

Hawkins then goes on to say, “The owner has purchased it for a minimal price and was likely not interested in an expensive salvage project.”

Oh well then, why didn’t you just say that in the first place? That’s a perfectly righteous reason for allowing our beaches to be littered with a decrepit marine vessel…not!

Another point which concerns me is this decision made by the Coast Guard Station is somewhat precedent setting.  What if someone is out there towing a barge and on that barge is the shell of an antique car, or a few refrigerators and freezers? Lo and behold, they conveniently slide off the barge and into the drink, washing up on one of our beloved beaches in Campbell River. Are we going to be told this is okay? After all the owner went to the trouble of draining all hazardous fluids and materials, it’s just a shell; the offensive items are sitting below the high-tide mark, not encroaching on any one’s property; and it’s just junk, the owner surely wouldn’t be interested in any salvage costs. Sounds ridiculous, wouldn’t you agree?

We cannot allow this to happen, to allow this decision to be upheld.  It’s littering, it’s garbage dumping but on a much larger scale. There is still an owner involved. Hold the owner accountable for all salvage costs.

Every week in the local newspapers, I see advertisements criticizing people who have dumped garbage in our rural areas. Our beaches are no different. Our beaches are sacred and Campbell River citizens deserve that they be kept that way.

Gary Hessler

Campbell River

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