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VIDEO: 56-metre cargo ship removed from Desolation Sound to mitigate pollution risk

Coast Guard transports abandoned vessel to Campbell River for deconstruction

A 56-metre cargo ship abandoned and anchored in Desolation Sound has been removed and taken to Campbell River for deconstruction.

The Canadian Coast Guard had received complaints about the (MV) Mini Fusion in 2020 and removed it from Doctor Bay under the Wrecked, Abandoned or Hazardous Vessel Act.

It is currently being deconstructed by Marine Recycling Corporation following a competitive bid process. The contract requires that the work to be carried out in an environmentally compliant manner, including salvaging of appropriate materials and recycling of scrap metal, ensuring strict controls on the disposal of hazardous waste, and closely managing the health and safety of those working on the project.

Under the Oceans Protection Plan, the Government of Canada is working to reduce the number of vessels of concern in Canadian waters, and minimize their impact on coastal communities, the environment and the public.

“Wrecked and abandoned vessels are a serious concern due to the risks they pose to sensitive marine ecosystems and communities. The Government of Canada is taking action to remove these potential polluters, and help communities keep coastal waters clean and safe,” Joyce Murray, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, said in a media release.

In 2021, the Canadian Coast Guard removed hazardous substances from the vessel to protect the surrounding waters, including removing 32 cubic metres (32,000 litres) of fuel, oil and oily waste water. Despite this work, the vessel was assessed as a hazard by the Canadian Coast Guard and deconstruction of the vessel was required to fully mitigate the hazard.

Last month, the MV Mini Fusion was transported from Doctor Bay to Duncan Bay near Campbell River on a submersible drydock. The Canadian Coast Guard maintained an on-water presence to monitor the disposition of the vessel during transit.

The Wrecked, Abandoned or Hazardous Vessels Act makes it illegal to abandon your boat and gives the federal government more powers to take action against problem vessels before they can pose greater problems at greater costs.

“Thanks to the plan, we’ve been able to remove hundreds of hazardous ships from our water that could pose a dangerous threat to safe navigation, including vessels like this one nearing the end of its life,” Omar Alghabra, Minister of Transport, said.

The Canadian Coast Guard maintains a national inventory of vessels of concern and is assessing the risks associated with each of the reported problem vessels to prioritize actions on high risk vessels. Vessels of concern in British Columbia can be reported to the Canadian Coast Guard by calling toll-free at 1-800-889-8852 or visiting:

Quick Facts

  • MV Mini Fusion was constructed in 1990 in Japan as a general cargo ship. It was 346 gross tons and 56 metres (185 feet) in length.
  • MV Mini Fusion was previously known as the MV Ocean Lady and was employed by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to transport 76 Tamil migrants to British Columbia in 2009.
  • The submersible drydock called “Cannonball” used for the transportation and deconstruction platform for this operation is capable of lifting vessels up to 1,100 tons.
  • Since 2016, the Government of Canada has dedicated $3.5 billion to the Oceans Protection Plan, making it the largest investment Canada has ever made to protect its coasts and waterways.
  • Since 2016, under the Oceans Protection Plan, the Government of Canada has funded almost 500 projects to remove and dispose of abandoned boats across Canada and has made it illegal to abandon your boat in Canada’s waters.

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