Work to raise a sunken vessel in Nanaimo harbour that was relocated to Brechin Boat Ramp concluded Friday.
The Viking I vessel sank Aug. 8 and was relocated to Brechin Boat Ramp’s north ramp on Aug. 16. Nanaimo Port Authority contracted Amix Group, which brought its Arctic Tuk heavy lift barge to Nanaimo Friday morning to assist in the effort.
Capt. Edward Dahlgren, port authority harbour master, said efforts to raise the Viking I on Aug. 17 were unsuccessful because there was significant under-water damage.
Dahlgren said the work consisted of “putting slings” underneath the ship’s hull and taking down the masts, so they didn’t interfere with the lift. The boat will now be examined.
“At this point, it belongs to the Government of Canada … so it will be taken to Vancouver to a secure facility, where it will be inspected and then a determination will be made as to its final resting place,” said Dahlgren.
He said whether the vessel is a write-off will only be determined after an internal inspection.
“There does appear to be structural damage to the vessel, which either was the reason it sank or a byproduct of the salvage effort. We can’t determine until we can actually get it up with the jack stands and get into it,” Dahlgren said.
Dahlgren said the authority hasn’t begun tallying the cost of recovery. Money for the effort would come from the Canadian Coast Guard’s Ship-source Oil Pollution Fund.
“Because there was oil on board, all the ships coming into Canada throw in money in the fund against spills, so the Government of Canada and the monies collected from the user-pay fund,” said Dahlgren.
Some federal tax dollars will go toward the effort, but it will be minimal compared to source payments, Dahlgren said.
He said there was no significant release of oil during the salvage effort.
After information from the inspection is gathered, Crown counsel will decide if the owner must foot part of the bill.
Canadian Coast Guard makes a recommendation and the Crown determines if there is sufficient grounds to attempt cost recovery, said Dahlgren.