Saturday, January 28, 2023

Sunken vessel remains tied to Tickle Wharf

  • January 25 2023
  • By Lois Ann Dort, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter    

GUYSBOROUGH – In mid-December, this newspaper reported that the RCMP was investigating the sinking of a fishing boat at Tickle Wharf in Canso, while the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) was making plans for its removal. Much to the dismay of local residents and fishers, the sunken boat remains tied to the wharf.

In update on the case, RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Chris Marshall told The Journal in an email Jan. 18, “We have not gathered any information or evidence that would lead to the belief that the sinking of the vessel was due to criminality and the investigation remains ongoing.”

In response to inquiries from The Journal about the CCG’s actions to date, Stephen Bornais, communications advisor for Fisheries and Oceans Canada commented via email that the CCG received a report about the vessel on Nov. 25 and deployed a containment boom around the vessel on Nov. 29. On Dec. 14, personnel from the CCG returned to the vessel and removed all bulk pollutants.

Bornais wrote, “A tender to remove the vessel from the marine environment has been posted. Once a contractor has been selected the work should be completed by end of February.”

Ginny Boudreau, manager of the Guysborough County Inshore Fishermen’s Association, doesn’t consider that timeline adequate. Asked when she thinks the boat should be removed from the water she told The Journal, “I think immediately. The sooner the better because the longer the vessel is under water, sunk, then it increases the chance of that breaking up and pieces of it going either out into the bay or down through the tickle, which could damage wharves or other vessels that are in the water at this time.

“We do have vessels that are still in the water. Pieces of that could come straight down to the harbour authority wharf and do damage. If we got a northwest wind, then I think that the vessel would be at great risk of breaking up and breaking clear of its moorings. And I think the longer that it’s in the water, the more risk that’s going to be,” Boudreau said.

The issue of the sunken vessel was also brought to the Municipality of the District of Guysborough (MODG) council table on Jan. 18 by councillor Dave Hanhams. After outlining the situation for council, Hanhams put forth a motion, which passed unanimously, asking the MODG to send a letter to the CCG and Cape Breton-Canso MP Mike Kelloway requesting immediate removal of the vessel.