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Extreme cold causing boats to sink into the Fraser in Richmond

At least two have gone under and a third was saved, according to the Steveston Harbour Authority
Richmond News reader Allisa Ritchie noticed this small boat was floating at a marina on Tuesday and sunk by Wednesday

It’s so cold on the Fraser River in Richmond right now that it’s creating chunks of ice and it's sinking boats.

Yes, you read that right, it’s causing small boats to take on water while moored and sending them below.

The Steveston Harbour Authority (SHA) told the Richmond News on Wednesday that it’s asking boat owners to check their vessels several times a day as two have sunk in the past week, apparently due to the frigid temperatures.

A third vessel, said SHA, was saved from sinking. It’s thought that pipes bursting on the boats due to the weather is causing their hulls to crack and take on water.

Local residents reported temperatures of -13 overnight Tuesday into Wednesday and the SHA is urging boat owners to keep the heat switched on in their vessels.

"Like a house you have to maintain... you have to take care of your boat," said Jaime Goosto, SHA general manager.

Boat owners should be especially vigilant when the weather is poor, either during heavy rain or snow - which can add a lot of weight to the vessel - or when it's windy. 

Steveston resident Allisa Ritchie said she spotted the small boat in the picture floating on Tuesday at the marina between Trites and No. 2 roads on the south dyke. By today, she said, it was under the water.

Maintenance of boats - and raising them if they sink - is the responsibility of boat owners, the SHA added.

The extreme cold weather is expected to continue for the next week with snow forecast for Wednesday evening.  

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