North Cedar Fire Department responded to boat on fire and adrift near Round Island, south of Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file)

North Cedar Fire Department responded to boat on fire and adrift near Round Island, south of Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file)

Firefighters, RCMP, Coast Guard called to boat fire south of Nanaimo

Pleasure craft of unknown type or origin burns to waterline while adrift near Cedar Boat Ramp

The investigation into a fire that destroyed a boat near Nanaimo has been left with the RCMP.

North Cedar Volunteer Firefighters were called out to the Cedar Boat Ramp at the end of Nelson Road south of Nanaimo for a boat that was on fire out on the water shortly after 10 p.m. Sunday, April 10.

Percy Tipping, North Cedar Volunteer Fire Department chief, said there was little his firefighters could do when they arrived as the boat, which was fully engulfed in flame, was about 150 metres off shore.

“There was no way we were going to be able to make a response in our little boat … so we just transferred our information to the coast guard,” Tipping said.

The Canadian Coast Guard responded with a boat from Ganges on Salt Spring Island.

Tipping said he talked with people from the Cedar-by-the-Sea area who said they saw the boat floating toward Mudge Island in a southerly direction when they called the fire department. The fire chief stayed at the scene for about an hour as he waited for the coast guard vessel to arrive.

The coast guard vessel put the fire out and then turned the investigation over to Nanaimo RCMP. It is not known what caused the blaze that burned the boat or if there was anyone on board or injured when the fire broke out.

Reserve Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman, said there was nothing to indicate the fire was suspicious in any way.

Sub-Lieut. Wilson Ho, with Royal Canadian Navy Maritime Forces Pacific public affairs, said in an e-mail that Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue 25 and Lifeboat Cape Naden from Ganges Harbour responded to the incident to deal with the craft that appeared to be a pleasure craft about four metres in length.

“The vessel appeared to be derelict and it burned to the waterline,” Ho said.

He said the incident was concluded at about 3 a.m. Monday, April 11, and was left in the hands of the RCMP.

READ ALSO: Boat burns up on Nanaimo’s Long Lake, man and child unhurt

READ ALSO: Crews put out boat fire on land in South Wellington



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