It may be an eyesore that appears to be polluting the Courtenay River, but the Department of Fisheries and Oceans is not in a position to remove a derelict boat from the water near the Courtenay Airpark.
DFO said the boat — which had been tied to a dock near the 17th Street Bridge — has not been discharging significant amounts of fuel or oil into the water.
Under the Canada Shipping Act, DFO may remove a vessel from the marine environment only if it has or is likely to discharge a pollutant “that the owner is unable or unwilling to address, and only when the removal of the vessel is considered the best option.
“Under Canada’s Marine Pollution Preparedness and Response Regime, the polluter is responsible for addressing any pollution they have caused. In the absence of pollution, the Canadian Coast Guard has no role in the administration or disposal of derelict vessels.”
A man had apparently been living in the boat, which is loaded with various items and has drifted about 150 yards downriver adjacent to the Courtenay slough.
The dock is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Transportation. Unless the boat is tied to the bridge, it no longer falls under MOT jurisdiction.