Capt. Edward Dahlgren

Capt. Edward Dahlgren

Sunken vessel recovery underway

NANAIMO – Part of Brechin Boat Ramp unaccessible while ship lifted from water.

Part of Brechin Boat Ramp will be inaccessible until work to raise a relocated sunken vessel is complete, says a Nanaimo Port Authority official.

The Viking 1 sank Aug. 8 and was relocated to the north ramp at Brechin Boat Ramp Tuesday.

Signage and barricades have been set up at the north ramp, but the south ramp is still accessible, said Capt. Edward Dahlgren, port harbour master.

Dahlgren said the Viking 1 sank about 8:30 a.m. in the vicinity of Mark Bay off Newcastle Island, and there were issues in raising it.

Dives were made Aug. 8 to confirm no one was on board, to ensure fuel tank vents had been fitted with plugs to minimize fuel discharge and to check the condition of the hull, said Dahlgren.

“Several attempts were made to lift the vessel with salvage bags,” Dahlgren said. “Additional buoyancy allowed the vessel to be shifted to a secure working site on Aug. 16. The initial salvage effort utilized shore crane and salvage bags [and] failed to allow pumps to de-water the hull.

“A heavy-lift barge has been contracted to mobilize to Nanaimo and conduct a heavy lift before Friday.”

Dahlgren said having the north ramp blocked off is negatively impacting recreational boaters, but the port is appreciative of their understanding.

“Having the ramp not used as opposed to putting 200 gallons of diesel in the environment, it’s not a great tradeoff, but it’s a better thing,” said Dahlgren.

He said the lift is scheduled to take place before Friday (Aug. 19), but will be dependent on tidal and weather conditions. Amix Group’s Arctic Tuk vessel will assist and is expected to arrive in Nanaimo tomorrow.

The cause of incident is still being investigated, with the lead agency Canadian Coast Guard Environmental Response, said Dahlgren.

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