Workers with marine contractor Heavy Metal use a spud barge and a clam shell bucket to remove the Valkyrian II

Workers with marine contractor Heavy Metal use a spud barge and a clam shell bucket to remove the Valkyrian II

Sunken wreck removed from Nanaimo Harbour

NANAIMO – Port authority uses a contractor to remove a sailboat from water near Protection Island.

The Nanaimo Port Authority and Heavy Metal, a local marine contractor, eliminated a problem vessel Saturday.

The Valkyrian II, a large ferro-concrete hull sailboat, has lain derelict off Protection Island since last October, after it drifted off during high wind and ended up aground.

It had been anchored in the extended stay permit area off the island and didn’t have an engine in place nor proper ground tackle, which didn’t comply with port practices and procedures, according to Edward Dahlgren, port authority harbour master and director of operations.

Attempts were made to contact the owner, a Nanaimo resident, through Transport Canada’s receiver of wrecks officer, to no avail.

“There’s costs attached to all of this, which are documented and which we’ll be taking court action to attempt to recover,” Dahlgren said.

He said the boat lost structural integrity due to the grounding and water started to get in between the layers.

There was no possibility of re-floating or lifting it.

“We’ve had to use basically a clam shell bucket and take it off bite at a time and then it will be taken to the landfill for disposal, having ensured there’s no hazardous materials in it – you know, asbestos, oil,” said Dahlgren.

As part of the recovery, an 61-by-61-metre oyster bed had to be relocated in order to avoid damage during recovery.

Dahlgren said once the boat has been removed and the beach cleaned, the bed will be returned to the site.

Mitigation measures were taken in case of unforeseen circumstances that could affect the environment, said Dahlgren.

“Recovering it has far less impact than leaving it there,” he said.

The recovery operation is expected to cost about $60,000, Dahlgren said.