The owner of an abandoned boat that sunk in a small channel of the Fraser River near Annacis Island on Jan. 22 has been ordered to clear the vessel away before it causes environmental damage.
According to East Richmond resident Dennis Allchin, local residents believe the wooden vessel could be close to 100 years old. Allchin said residents thought the owner could not afford moorage at a local marina so he/she tried to anchor the boat in the river, just off shore.
It appears strong currents overtook the boat, which eventually took on water leaving it half-submerged by the time Allchin took a photo and submitted it to the News over weekend.
On Tuesday the boat remained in the river between Don Island and Annacis Island across from several houseboat communities.
"Nobody seems to know what to do with it," said Allchin in an email.
Port Metro Vancouver told the News it is monitoring the boat, named the Viner, and have notified the owner.
Abandoned derelict boats have become an environmental problem and safety hazard in the river, so much so that it forced the port to announce last September a $2 million, five-year initiative to ensure the proper removal of such vessels from municipalities that border the river.
According to an employee at Transport Canada, there is a problem with such vessels throughout the Lower Mainland. He said all the federal transportation body can do is issue a "Notice of Shipping" if it poses a risk to marine traffic.
A manager at the nearby Shelter Island Marina and Boatyard said Coast Guard officials visited the vessel on Monday and took photos.
The Coast Guard told the News it was only responsible for the safety of others in such cases and is not responsible for helping remove the vessel.