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New Year’s Eve boat wreck removed from Cadboro Bay Beach, but winter storms loom

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On Wednesday, December 30, 2020 around 3 pm, high
winds caused a 30-foot Yamaha fiberglass sloop sailboat to break loose from its
mooring buoy in Cadboro Bay. Breaking waves washed it ashore, restricting safe
access to the beach. Its mast hovered inches above a glass-walled fence on a private
property on Waring Place.

A Cadboro Bay Residents` Association (CBRA) Board Member
attended the scene within the hour. CBRA contacted the Coast Guard and spoke to
the owner of the Waring Place property whose fence was in danger of being
damaged.

The Canada Shipping Act, R.S.C allows any
person to secure a vessel in distress and then pass the cost to the vessel’s
owner, however a registration number was not located on the boat and it is
unclear whether the boat owner has been identified.

The homeowner contacted Cold Water Divers Inc. and arranged the removal of the boat from the
beach. That task was completed at high tide the morning of December 31, 2020.
The boat has been returned to a mooring buoy in Cadboro Bay. CBRA urges boat
owners to routinely inspect their boats to ensure secure connection through the
seasons.

In cases such as this, local community members bear
expense and effort in the response, sometimes without awareness by the boat
owners responsible for the problem. As the winter season advances, more boat
wrecks can be expected—six wrecks washed onto Cadboro Bay Beach in January 2020
alone. It was eleven months before they were removed.

In this incident a local homeowner stepped up to
have the boat removed immediately. When a boat is dealt with promptly the
removal costs can be less than $1,500 in the simplest cases. But once a boat is
damaged, sunk, or ensnared the cost to remove it can be significantly higher.

Safety risks and access impediments result for
beach users, and environmental hazards result from leakage of fuel, oil, and
holding tank contents, along with debris that becomes strewn across the beach
and bay.

A longer-term solution to prevent boats from
breaking loose and ending up on the beach is under consideration by the
Municipalities of both Oak Bay and Saanich. The Cadboro Bay Residents`
Association has been meeting with both Municipalities and several options are
being explored. 

CHEK News has also featured this incident, with video footage.

CBRA is grateful this incident was resolved quickly,
and we thank the Waring Place homeowner for removing the boat from the beach.
CBRA also extends a thank-you to all community members that support CBRA in its
efforts to put an end to derelict boats in Cadboro Bay.

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